Kind Stranger Gives His Car to Struggling College Student at Dealership

Kayla Cooper was in dire need of a vehicle and a stranger stepped in.
Credit: Kayla Cooper

Cooper, a 22-year-old nursing student, was in need of a car in February but couldn’t afford a down payment.

good Samaritan at a California car dealership stepped in to help a college student who couldn't afford a new vehicle.

Cooper, a 22-year-old nursing student, was in need of a vehicle in February but couldn’t afford the down payment. She wasn’t sure how she was going to get to work, until a total stranger, Dan Laguardia, stepped in to help.

“I was getting a car at this particular dealership. I went in the intention of buying the car. I was going to trade in my car and get the new car and be done. I heard Kayla crying. She got up and left pretty quickly,” Laguardia told

Laguardia, however, wanted to know what had happened, so he asked the salesman who had attended to Cooper and once he found out about her situation, he knew he had to do something.

“I asked him to call her. I told her, ‘I overheard what happened, I’ve got a car that you might like,’” Laguardia said. “She came back and she looked at the car. I told her, 'This is no strings attached.'”

Cooper said she was shocked at Laguardia’s gesture and could not believe the 2005 Toyota Scion was hers.

“I am still in shock. I was crying,” Cooper said. “A car is helping me so much right now.” 

The college student said she is keeping in touch with Laguardia since the unexpected act of kindness. She doesn’t know how she will ever repay him, she said. Luckily, she doesn’t have to. 

“If I was her, I would’ve wanted somebody like me to do it,” Laguardia said. “I have been in situations where a little hand up would have been nice. I just figured it was me being what I wanted in my life.”