Friday, November 15, 2013

Hyde Shuttles Keep Student on the Go

(In spite of being a part of Senior Services, our Hyde Shuttles serve many folks who are not seniors!   The service is available to people with disabilities as well.  This is one such story).

Olivia  can be found on the Highline
Community College campus Monday through

Olivia Williams, a regular Hyde Shuttle rider, is going places.  At 17, she already attends Highline Community College fulltime (thanks to the Running Start program) and has both short-term and long-term goals.  In the immediate future, she’d like to maintain a high GPA; achieve respectable scores on the SAT’s; and improve her strength, health, and mobility.  In the more distant future, she’d like to pursue her interest in the sciences and passion for helping others by becoming a pharmacist. 

Olivia is clearly ambitious but describes herself as: laid back, introverted, and independent.  She also acknowledges that various facets of her character have been formed by the fact that she has a disability.  She explains, “I have cerebral palsy.  I was born three months premature.  A lung collapsed-- causing my brain to hemorrhage, which affected the part of my brain that controls my movements.” 

Olivia reports that she has never felt bad about suffering from cerebral palsy because it is the only reality she has ever known, and she knows that a lot of people are in a far worse condition than she is.  Cerebral palsy has forced her to break free from her naturally shy shell to advocate for herself.  “I can’t be a wallflower,” she says.  It has also caused her to be more driven.  “I have to prove to people I can do this,” she adds.  In addition, she admits that having cerebral palsy has also caused her to be more cautious.  She recognizes that she is more vulnerable than others and needs to adapt her lifestyle accordingly. 

This is where the Hyde Shuttle comes into play.  Olivia did not feel comfortable taking the city buses to her daily classes at Highline Community College, and the stops were an unmanageable distance from her home.  Therefore, she was incredibly pleased when she discovered the Hyde Shuttles

Olivia found the smaller-scale shuttles to be a good fit for her needs and preferences.  She labels them as very convenient and expresses relief that they are always on time.  She also says, “The volunteer drivers are really nice, interesting, welcoming, and friendly.   You can tell that they really want to be there.”   She is very grateful for the service and the personalized attention she receives.  She now rides the shuttle five days per week.

The Hyde Shuttles will not provide Olivia with her transportation forever.  In addition to completing her AA, obtaining her bachelor’s degree, and attending pharmacy school, she has another plan: acquiring her driver’s license.  But, as she continues on her life journey, the shuttles (and their helpful volunteer drivers) are there to support her in her efforts to dream big and travel far. 


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“Behind the Wheel” offers stories, reflections, news and updates about Sound Generations’ (formerly Senior Services') Transportation Program. Throughout King County, our inspiring volunteers provide needed mobility to local seniors, supporting them in their efforts to remain independent, healthy, and happy. Please drop by to read more about the unique experiences of our volunteers, clients and staff!
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