For the last four years, McAllen ISD bus driver David Gomez has focused on his mission, to safely carry his young passengers from home to school every school day and then back again. As he maneuvered the streets, he learned their names and enjoyed a personal rapport founded on mutual respect.
Then, just days before 11 of them were set to graduate from high school, he bought cards, wrote congratulatory messages, and folded a twenty-dollar bill into each card. On the last day they rode his bus, he surprised each graduate with his gift.
“I cried because it was so sweet,” one graduate said. “But it really wasn’t surprising,” another added. “That’s just what he’s like.”
Gomez was more surprised by the reaction, and by the public’s attention to what he describes as a quiet moment between him and the wonderful young men and women he came to know and love. Employees have long said they treat the children in their care like family. Gomez is a prime example of that heartfelt sentiment.
“I just believe that everyone needs that extra push sometimes and I thought to myself that I can do this little thing for them and maybe help them keep going,” Gomez said.
It was a gesture made more humbling because the students knew his hourly wages have their financial limits. The simple sincerity behind the quiet action is what drove his message home.
KGBT-TV Channel 4
KRGV-TV Channel 5
KVEO-TV Channel 23