School bus driver inspires kids' futures - FOX34 Lubbock

School bus driver inspires kids' futures

LUBBOCK, Texas - School bus drivers may be the first face a child sees in the morning. Durham School Services trains its employees not only on how to drive a school bus, but how to be in tune with their riders. 

"We have the opportunity to make a child's day a better day and we have an opportunity at the end of the day their night a good night and give them something to look forward to in the morning," Laura Cortez, General Manager of Transportation for Durham School Services said.

Cortez said bus drivers have one of the most important jobs out there, transporting precious cargo.

After losing his job, a friend suggested Carlos Geigel-Cruz, Safety and Training Supervisor for Durham School Services, start driving for Lubbock I-S-D. 

"She said, why don't you try and be a bus driver. I said well let me try and let me see until I try something better, well here I am ten years later," Cruz said. 

He said he's excited to greet his riders on the first day of school. 

"We want to make them feel comfortable because it's part of our job to get to know the students," Cruz said. 

His goal is to make a difference in young people's lives and help them plan for the future. 

"And I got to meet a few kids and we got to talking and some kids they have no idea what they want to do after high school. So we kind of give some advice," Cruz said. 

The first high school route Carlos drove was for Monterey High School where he really got to know some of the kids. 

"I was in the military for 8 years. I was in the Army and one kid he had no idea what he wanted to do after high school so long story short, he graduated, and kind of like 6 months later, I see this guy in uniform. He came to me, he gave me a hug, I had no idea who he was until he said you're the one that gave me the idea, told me something to look forward to after high school and he joined the military," Cruz said. 

With years of experience and getting to know his riders, Carlos said he can tell when something is off. 

"If you notice there's something, you know like the kid is having issues or something on his mind, I will normally try to encourage them, have a blessed day, have a great day, it's going to be okay," Cruz said. 

Opening students eyes to the future, he believes education is very important. 

"I used to tell my kids, have something planned when you have your diploma in hand. Don't ask that question, what am I going to do now," Cruz said. 

To become a school bus driver, click here. To tour the buses and meet the drivers and staff, there is an open house August 3 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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