WALL, N.J. — The nonprofit organization Unique Gifted Loveable You has selected Student Transportation Inc. (STI) as its 2011 Company of the Year for the school bus contractor’s anti-bullying initiatives.
STI’s in-depth bullying prevention training programs include having drivers establish and maintain a positive bus environment, which mitigates bullying. Training programs such as this one helped STI earn the accolade.
Commenting on the honor, Nicholas Pizzo, director of organizational development of STI, said, “We are thrilled for our drivers to be recognized by this organization that is helping so many kids throughout the country. This issue is important, and we felt we needed to be doing more. Our operations team has done a fantastic job raising awareness and in training our drivers to interact with kids to build trust on the bus. Our drivers encourage students to be good citizens while establishing rules and behavior expectations.”
Unique Gifted Loveable You, also known as Hey U.G.L.Y., empowers youth to be part of the solution to bullying.
Betty Hoeffner, co-founder and president of Unique Gifted Loveable You, said that bullying on board school buses is an area of “grave concern” to the organization.
"When we heard about Student Transportation Inc.'s work in the areas of bullying prevention and how they had in-depth training programs for their staff, and anti-bullying rules and signage on their buses, we had to do something to let them know how grateful we were for the important work they are doing to keep students safe," Hoeffner said.
Pizzo noted that since school buses serve as the first and last school function for millions of schoolchildren each day, STI’s effort to restore and maintain safe, calm environments on the bus “sets the stage for restoring everything in between.”
For more information on Unique Gifted Loveable You and its Prevent Bullying Now program, visit www.HeyUGLY.org. For more information about STI, visit www.rideSTBus.com.