If you were asked to mention some important professions, which ones would come to mind? Probably doctors? Or lawyers? If we’re lucky maybe teachers? But what about school bus drivers? Are they important for society? They sure are and, the problem is, they are very rarely recognized and rewarded for their contribution. Luckily, some of them are, and they get the appreciation that they so much deserve.
One of those school bus drivers is Curtis Jenkins, a young man from Dallas Texas, who has been working at Lake Highlands Elementary, driving students to and from home on his bus for the last eight years. But delivering students is not the only thing he does. Curtis is a friend to them, a mentor, and to some, the father they never had.
“My mom got divorced when I was only four,” a young boy narrates, “[Curtis] is the father that I always wanted. In some ways, I wish that my dad could have been like that.”
Curtis’ bus isn’t an ordinary school bus. On it written are the values that inspire him: “Connect, Learn, Grow, Succeed”, according to Curtis, the keys to a fulfilling life. But he didn’t stop there. Curtis not only preaches about connection and growth; he also takes action.
In his school bus, everyone is included and involved in the day-to-day procedures. Curtis has assigned roles to each and every one of the students- one of them is a police officer, another one is administrative assistant to the president, etc. They all know their roles and the responsibilities that come with them.
He also buys gifts for the kids every once in a while. But not random gifts- he knows exactly what each kid likes and he tries to get personalized presents for each one of them. The children just love him and he loves them back.
“These are my children,” he says, “these are my community! I love them all!”
This Christmas, though, it was time for Curtis to receive a present instead of offering it. To show him that they recognized his effort and kindness, and to reward him for all he has done all these years for these kids, an anonymous viewer reached out to the school superintendent, Jeannie Stone, with a special gift for him: a new car. Stone also gave Curtis a promotion, and he is now teaching others how to have better student relationships.
After all this commotion, word reached the Dallas Cowboys, of whose Curtis is a big fan. So, they surprised him too as part of their journey with Bank of America to find the greatest fans on earth. Curtis was given two free tickets for a Cowboys football game this past November.
Thanks to people like Curtis Jenkins, the world seems to be a better place and faith in humanity is restored. Let’s try to follow their example and spread the kindness and love that our global societies are in dire need of. Let’s hope for many similar stories to reach us every day.
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