Yoshi, a Japanese-American, has an interesting life story starting with living in a Japanese internment camp in southern Colorado many years ago. When his family moved to Lafayette, they were the only Japanese family living there at that time and it wasn’t always easy for them.
Yoshi went on to run his own flower shop in Boulder and after 30 years he “retired.” After just a short time, he began to look for a different kind of job–he missed his customers too much. And then he found Via and a way to meet people and make connections. It became much more very quickly!
Yoshi’s life experiences shaped his dedication to making sure all of his riders feel comfortable, cared for and part of the community. Yoshi is inspired by his riders. As he put it, “I feel as though I am helping the riders live their lives and get to where they need to go – wherever that is, I will be here for them. The riders are so thankful for what Via does – they sometimes have a hard time expressing just how grateful they are.”
According to Yoshi, “everyone at Via has a common purpose of providing mobility for life—and providing it with respect and care.” This common purpose and shared mission is what makes working at Via so special for Yoshi.
Yoshi has many stories about “his” riders. One story is that of Lisa, who at age 40 experienced several serious health issues and needed to get to a myriad of health appointments – including dialysis.
As Yoshi put it, “Lisa has a love for life – even though she has lost a foot and a finger due to her illnesses. It is very uplifting to see her eyes light up when I arrive to take her where she needs to go.”
When Yoshi‘s wife passed away five years ago, his Via “family” was there for him. As he put it, “when I start to feel sad and sorry for myself – I think of Lisa and how she inspires me every day as she works to remain independent.“
Yoshi summed up his work as a Via driver, “I love my job – it is the best job I have ever had – hands down. Via has accepted me and I am so grateful for my Via family – including the many riders who I look forward to serving every day.”
Yoshi has been employed as a paratransit driver since 2008