Meet HopSkipDrive CareDriver Samuel Kim
Written by Karen Sampson
Samuel Kim’s main reason for becoming a HopSkipDrive CareDriver is the opportunity it gave him to help children. Doing so, he says, gives him “a sense of duty and a feeling of pride.” He has claimed more than 400 rides — and has positively impacted the lives of many children — since being certified as a CareDriver in the Los Angeles market in 2021.
What is your location, and what market do you drive in?
I live in La Mirada, California, and I drive in the Los Angeles market.
What made you decide to become a CareDriver?
The opportunity to help disabled and foster children.
What do you like most about being a CareDriver?
As CareDrivers, we are not only drivers but also an extension to the children’s day-to-day routine. We are stamped as reliable people they can depend on.
Also, I like that I know where and when to pick up passengers ahead of time.
Have you had any special experiences with Riders that have been meaningful to you?
I picked up four high schoolers at different pickup locations, and I remember the first day how rigid they were with each other and with me. As pickups became more routine, I remember one day when that ride was not mine. I had pulled over to pick up another passenger, and the four kids looked at me with faces of disappointment as they were taken to another vehicle. They were actually looking forward to riding with me! There is a sense of dependency, reliability and trust that develops. And the short time I took them to and from made an impact.
I also had a passenger who was very vivacious and realistic about life. This kid was so young but had endured so much. As we passed through one of the streets, she told me: “That house right there is where my sister lives. One day, we will play together, eat together and sleep together.” That made an imprint in my head and on my heart about how cold life can be but also about how positive kids can be.
Being a CareDriver is about more than a pickup or a drop-off. It’s about the safety of the kids and the mindset of keeping kids positive about life when life shows them negativity. It’s our duty as adults and as CareDrivers.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a HopSkipDrive CareDriver?
You’ll enjoy being a HopSkipDrive CareDriver if you are interested in helping and impacting children.
Do you have any advice you think would be useful for other CareDrivers?
Have a thick skin and a soft heart.
How important do you think HopSkipDrive’s mission (to create opportunity for all through mobility) is, and why?
Very important because other gig companies do not impact the lives of children in the same way.
Interesting in learning more about becoming a HopSkipDrive CareDriver?
Start your HopSkipDrive CareDriver journey here.