CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Mike Mason is a Marine veteran and former FBI official, who’s still giving back to his community by driving a school bus and donating his salary to charity.
Mason spent 22 years working for the FBI before retiring and when he heard about a severe school bus driver shortage in Virginia due to the coronavirus pandemic, he applied for the job.
“Everybody thinks that all of the children out there have the technology that they need to easily transition to a virtual learning environment and I just realized that wasn’t true, Mason said. “And I thought it was critically important to get students, particularly those, that if I may say so, look like me, back in front of live teachers and I thought this was an important role and an important way I could help in this post-pandemic recovery.”
Mason’s story has gone viral, inspiring thousands of people. He said he never “dreamed it would go viral in the way that it has, and it’s produced a lot of opportunities for him, so he can’t complain.”
Mason said he drives a special ed bus and he loves the students he serves.
“All of my students are on the autistic spectrum somewhere and so I love to learn about them, to learn their language — what makes them happy, sad, angry,” Mason said. “The students are actually the best part of the job.”
Mason has donated his salary to Targe Hope, St. Judes, and Shriners, and his alma mater Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.
Watch the full interview in the media player above.