On the Frontline
Paola Recinos is proud to be an ambassador for First Student. As a driver, she is on the frontline interacting daily with our student passengers, parents and our school district representatives. It makes sense then that she would be out in front as one of six employees featured in posters that highlight our new tagline and values. Paola’s poster reminds our employees and visitors that we are supportive of each other.
Caring Comes Naturally
Caring for children has always come naturally to Paola. For her first job, she worked as a babysitter. The proud mom of four also considers the students on her route as “her kids.” She says they, along with her own children, motivate her to do great work each and every day. “I’m inspired by the love that I have for my children at home and on my route. It is important for the families we serve that we provide safe and reliable transportation. They are relying on us.”
Passion for Driving
Paola joined the First Student location in Little Rock, Arkansas nearly two years ago. She also works in routing, but it is her role as a driver that is truly her passion. “The kids that I drive every morning and afternoon — that’s what I enjoy. I am thankful that First Student is giving me the opportunity to do what I like the most.”
Our drivers have days that are tremendously rewarding and others that present challenges. That is also true for Paola. There have been a few occasions when a parent or guardian has not been waiting at the bus stop to pick up a young rider as required. “It can be a scary situation for the child,” says Paola. “I think it is important not only to explain to the student what is going to happen next, but also to reassure the child that he or she will not be left alone. We are committed to their care.”
We Need to Listen
Because our drivers are the heart of our business, Paola believes it is important to show it. A kind word really can make a difference, but so can something else. “We need to listen when our passengers have something to talk about, and help them when they are reaching out to us. Some students have big issues that are affecting them mentally and physically.” Paola is always willing to lend an ear.
Making a Difference
Paola not only recognizes, but also embraces the opportunity she has to have a positive impact on her students’ days. She knows the importance of what we do, and the difference it makes in the communities we serve. “By providing children with a safe and reliable way to get to school, we help to support their education so they can become successful in the future.” When it comes to providing the best start and finish to the school day, Paola takes it to heart.