TAMPA, Fla. — A special-needs school bus driver here went out of her way to provide a special ride for a graduating student.
Jennifer Collins, who drives a lift-equipped school bus for Hillsborough County Public Schools, was assigned to transport a high school student named Darian, who uses a wheelchair, to his graduation rehearsal and ceremony in May. Both events were outside of school hours. With 19 high schools in the district, graduation season is a busy time of year for Hillsborough County Public Schools’ transportation department as they work to get seniors to and from their rehearsals and ceremonies. Even so, Collins took time to go beyond the basic requirements of her assignment.
“She went out and bought graduation decorations for her bus before picking Darian up,” said Jim Beekman, general manager of transportation for Hillsborough County Public Schools.
Referring to photos of the graduating student on the decked-out bus, Beekman added, “You can see by the smile on his face how special he felt.”
Collins has worked for Hillsborough County Public Schools for 13 years. Her efforts, Beekman said, were “just another example of the positive impact that drivers and attendants make on a daily basis in the lives of our students.”