LEESBURG, Fla. – A Lake County teen's big heart is getting results for a little pair of feet.
It was a normal work day for Jayden Brammeier Vasquez. The 18-year-old works at the Foot Locker in the ViaPort Florida Mall in Lake County. The mall was busy with holiday shoppers when 10-year-old Jonas Nielsen walked into the store.
"I asked him, 'Do you want to try anything on?' And he somewhat mentioned he never had a pair of shoes from this store before," Vasquez said.
Vasquez said he picked out a pair of teal Air Jordan 1's.
"They fit great, and he had a big ol' smile on his face," she said. "His mom passed by right when we were trying them on, and she said, 'Why are you making her work? You know we're not going to get them.'"
Vasquez said she can't explain why. Maybe it was the holiday spirit, or maybe she saw a little bit of herself in Jonas.
She said she spent a couple of years in foster care and knew what it was like to want something, but live on a shoestring budget.
She had to do something, she said. Vasquez asked Jonas' mom if she could buy the shoes for him.
"I didn't really expect to get any recognition for it," she said.
Jonas' mom posted about the random act of kindness on social media, and Vasquez's story went viral. It even got the attention of Lake County leaders, who recognized her on Thursday.
"It shows a spirit that we can all admire that is out there every day, but sometimes, we don't see it," Lake County Commissioner Wendy Breeden said.
"It's a really great feeling to know that I've inspired people," Vasquez said.
The gesture was even more special, because it was Jonas' 10th birthday.
Vasquez is getting results and leaving a permanent footprint on the young boy's life.
"He wrote me a letter, and he had said he'll never forget it, and that really stuck with me," Vasquez said. "That one thing, he'll never forget his 10th birthday and that's a nice feeling."