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HopSkipDrive celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month: A conversation with Transportation Director, Richard Jimenez

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year to honor the Hispanic, Latinx, and Latino-identified communities and their tremendous impact throughout our country. It provides an opportunity to build and expand multicultural connections, learn about individuals’ stories of successes and challenges, and deepen our awareness of the Hispanic community.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, HopSkipDrive sat down with Richard Jimenez, the Transportation Director at Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District in Placentia, CA – a school district that supports approximately 25,000 students – to gain a deeper understanding of his journey into transportation and education. 

With 22 years of experience in the transportation industry, we were honored to learn more about Richard’s story; he was able to share with us what he enjoys most about his role, how his leadership and background has influenced his work, and ways in which transportation means accessibility to greater opportunities for students. Here is our conversation with Richard:

What single quality or characteristic has led you to the leadership position you hold today?

Hard work! I believe that hard work has led me to become a transportation director. Having that “mamba mentality” work ethic and taking what I have learned from great transportation leaders who have shared their industry knowledge with me.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

I enjoy sharing my knowledge with people and watching them grow personally and professionally. I also enjoy it when I hear from parents about how their child’s driver has made an impact on their child’s day, and I get to share their name, face, and story.

Can you share a story in which transportation meant accessibility to greater opportunities?

I see this with many of our McKinney-Vento families. In some cases, a school may be the only normalcy for them. In these cases, transportation can give access to a student to experience normalcy and give them opportunities to succeed.

Hispanic Heritage Month is about recognizing the past and present accomplishments and talents – how has your leadership and background influenced your work?

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to witness family members such as my mom, dad, and grandparents display their hard work. Their commitment to hard work provided me with a model to copy, and I apply this, along with my faith, to my personal and professional life. I try to model this to our staff and the families that we provide service for as well.

HopSkipDrive celebrates the contributions Richard has made to the industry, the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District and the thousands of students and families he supports each day. 

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