When schools shifted to online learning, a Massachusetts bus driver decided to go back to class.
Clayton Ward said he got burned out by trying to work and attend college the first time.
The 30-year-old Tennessee native eventually moved to Massachusetts and landed a job that would provide him the inspiration he needed to earn his degree. The students he drove to school taught him a lesson in patience and told him that he should be a teacher.
"That hit home for me and finally I just, was like, 'You know what, I am going back to school,'" he said.
During the pandemic, Ward became one of the top students in his class, earned academic awards and finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
This fall, he plans to continue attending classes with the goal of becoming a high school history teacher.
Ward said the students he drove to school each day taught him that achieving goals is more important than how you get there.
"We all come from different walks of life," he said. "One person might dress differently, one might act differently, but we're all the same."