School Bus Driver Gets to Raise Her Kids in the Community Where She Works
Lenora Jones is enthusiastic about her new neighborhood in Columbia and the promise it brings. When Jones learned about the housing mobility program, she was living in a west Baltimore neighborhood she describes as “nothing but boarded up houses” and “drug addicts partying every night”—not the setting she wanted for her daughters, one of whom has special needs. She moved her family to a house in Columbia in Howard County, in a neighborhood with a pool, playgrounds, a lake, and a skate park. She responded to an ad seeking bus drivers for Howard County schools. They trained her, helped her get a commercial driver’s license, and hired her as a school bus driver, a position which works well with her daughters’ school schedules and gives them more time together. Although the “life changing” move was at first difficult for her younger daughter, who had done well in her city school but was having trouble keeping up with her peers in the more challenging suburban school, she moved fast so her daughter would not have to repeat a grade. Jones enrolled her in summer school math classes and worked with her at home.