Via Paratransit driver Jim ‘Yoshi’ Yoshihara was awarded the Boulder County Multicultural Award for Community Service.

Yoshi originally came to Colorado as a child when his family was forcibly relocated to a Japanese Internment Camp during World War II. When his family was eventually released after the war, they started over with nothing and put down roots in Boulder County. After spending most of his adult life running a flower shop in Boulder, his family felt it was time for him to retire. Yoshi had no plans to stay inactive, and for the past ten years, he has been driving with Via, where he works 30 hours a week and has touched the lives of hundreds of people.

Working for Via can be a demanding job. Drivers work long hours assisting vulnerable community members while negotiating tight passenger schedules, extreme weather, clients with challenging physical or cognitive disabilities, and mapping destinations, all while operating large vehicles in Boulder County’s increasingly congested traffic. Known for his calm presence and easy smile, he is also a mentor to new drivers, sharing tips, stories, and always listening.

As the coworker who nominated Yoshi explains, “Yoshi truly loves his job helping people. If I ever need Via’s services, I hope Yoshi is my driver. I know I’ll be in good hands.”

Boulder’s Multicultural Awards celebrate people of color who have made significant contributions in the areas of Arts, Business, Community Service, Education, Health, Government, and Science & Technology. Read about the nine 2018 MCAB Award Winners.