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13-Year-Old Boy Stole a Bus to Help His Family

Robert Williams was eight years old when he started taking the bus to school. "My dad left when I was young," he told the BBC, "so my mom took care of me and my nine siblings but her health was failing." So every day he looked forward to talking to the bus driver, Louise Garnett, who was a motherly type. She would ask, "Hey, have you eaten today? How are your grades? Did you do your homework?" So after two years of watching Ms. Louise he decided that he should become a bus driver to help his family.

Williams noticed that the bus drivers wore uniforms. He had learned to sew from his mom, so he took some church clothes and made them into a uniform like the drivers wear. Then he walked into the bus depot, got into a bus, and pulled it off the property. After a moment of doubt, he said, "I need to do this for my family." When a security guard noticed him, Williams panicked and floored the bus, going about 50 miles per hour. Every time he passed another bus he heard the drivers call in and say: "Hey, that bus just passed me and it looks like a kid!" The joyride ended when police set up a couple of buses to block him.

Later in court Robert told the judge about his mom's health and about his dad leaving, and that he just wanted to help his impoverished family. Most of all that he just wanted to be a bus driver. The bus company representative said that if he kept his nose clean, he could come back for a job when he was 25. Williams said "You'll never hear another peep out of me" and he was put on probation.

When he turned 25, he contacted the bus company and the director of HR remembered the incident and hired him. Williams said, "After I completed training I saw Ms. Louise and gave her a big hug and thanked her so much, because she had no idea what she did for me, taking me under her wing." He has been a supervisor for 15 years and says, "I love what I do and I love the community I serve."

Possible Preaching Angles: Encouragement; Mother's Day; Role models - This disadvantaged young man's life shows the lasting influence that an encouraging role model can have on achieving a dream.

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