LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man's 'I am Trayvon Martin' photo has gone viral on Facebook. Corey Shy, age 22, compared himself at the age of 17 to present day in a photo. The now medical school student's viral photo has been shared more than 70,000 times this week. It's a photo that was meant to inspire everyone.
The photo on the right is Corey Shy the future doctor. The photo on the left is Corey Shy at age 17; the same age Trayvon Martin was when he was shot and killed.
"The clothes I wore and things of that nature really weren't the person I was. I really didn't want to get portrayed as a thug," Shy said. "I know during the case and especially toward the end they were kind of saying Trayvon was a thug based off the clothing he was wearing, or based of the pictures, or based off the little trouble he got into in high school."
The 'I am Trayvon Martin' photo Shy posted on Facebook last week was a way for him to ask others to make conscious decisions when it comes to racial profiling.
"That could've definitely been me that day and that just really goes back to the whole image thing," Shy said. "I know back when I was 17 I never knew or thought I would be judged in that way."
Shy said when he made the post on Facebook he didn't think it would go viral like this.
"I did not think it would go like viral to the extent of 73,000 plus shares," Shy said. "My goal was really like 1,000. I thought 1,000 would've been great."
The photo has also been encouragement for thousands on social media.
"You don't have to be the smartest kid of all time to become a doctor. It's really about working hard and your passion. Most of the feedback hasn't really been about the Trayvon Martin case but more about inspiration," Shy said. "It's ok to be smart. You don't have to be necessarily weird or anything like that. You can still be the same person striving for excellence in the classroom. So, that's the kind of advice I would give; just don't be afraid to be smart. Go out there, go to college, get an education, and make the best for your life."
On Monday, Shy received his medical white coat from Texas A&M and will be studying family medicine.
"In a class of 200 I'm the only black male, so I know diversity in medicine is key to our healthcare system," Shy said.
Shy said his passion stems from the doctors who saved his family's lives.
"My mom suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and depression, and my sister had two open heart surgeries when she was a kid," Shy said.
He will begin medical school next Monday at Texas A&M. His expected graduation year is 2017.
Shy said he was amongst 4,000 students to get into the medical program.