His gaze fell on the woman and then back to the friends she was with. He shook his head in disbelief – how could they think that request was reasonable? He would shut them down, he didn’t care how it appeared.
But he had no idea that when he got up for work the next day, he’d see his face on the internet.
A lot of people seem to underestimate how bad they can actually be when they drink. So a lot of people are responsible enough to make a plan to get home once they drink a few too many.
After all, Uber and Lyft are around for a reason, and this is a good one.
Tro-Juan Henderson worked for the National Domestic Violence Hotline for some time before becoming a Lyft driver.
He thought it would be a normal shift as a Lyft driver. But he had no idea when he spotted three women stumbling towards his car, they had clearly been drinking.
Giving Him The Instructions
One of the girls looked at him and gave him instructions that made his jaw hang open. Then it was confirmed when she gave him the set of keys.
There was no way he would do this. He shook his head and said no. But he had no idea that this would cause a stir on Twitter the next day.
Tro’Juan thought of anything that could help try to calm the women down. He even offered them a discount, but it didn’t matter.
He just knew that they wouldn’t take no for an answer. He knew that he would never be able to face himself if he said yes.
Making A Decision
The woman wouldn’t budge at all. They really wanted him to send their friend to her house. But she couldn’t look after herself, she could barely stand.
Tro’Juan had dealt with people like this before and knew how to deal with it. But now he had the woman’s keys in his hands, he had to decide what to do.
Standing His Ground
Tro’Juan refused again and asked for them to remove her out of the back of his car. He had to cancel the trip. The woman couldn’t believe it, but he was doing the right thing.
But he hadn’t noticed the fact that there was a person of authority watching the entire event.
The cop on duty was female and saw him refuse a woman a lift. He had received a complaint on Lyft’s Twitter. In her eyes, it was discrimination against the women.
But why did Tro’Juan stand by his actions? Why had he refused to give the woman a lift? He knew he would have to defend his actions, but he would be met with a lot of resistance.
Tro’Juan recounted the two women bringing their friend out of the hotel. The woman couldn’t stand on her own.
They then gave him her house keys and asked him to not just give her a lift but also get her into her home.
Henderson had to look out for himself, and couldn’t accept an arrangement like that. He knew someone could spin the situation easily.
He tried to make a compromise and asked her friends to accompany her and even offered a cheaper fare. But they wouldn’t so he had no choice, he had to refuse.
He spoke about how it can be a dangerous situation for a woman to be alone in a cab. He was only looking out for her.
Since he posted the video it has gone viral and has turned the Lyft driver into a crusader against violence against women. And he had something to say about the woman’s “friends.”
Tro’Juan couldn’t take the risk. When they refused to look after their friend he had to say no. How could they put their friend in such a dangerous position?
“At first, I wondered if I was wrong for not giving her a ride but I know where my heart was.”
He couldn’t help but picture what the woman might think if she woke up to find him, a complete stranger, standing in her home.
“I was like yo, if I carry her into her apartment, unlock her door, what if she wakes up and now to her, there’s this strange, 6’2″ man carrying her into her house and she doesn’t know who I am? And who knows? She could have suffered a traumatic experience in the past that I knew nothing about.”
A Serious Problem
According to Tro’Juan, it was after he attended a National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) workshop in Austin that he came to realize just how serious the problem truly was.
“I remember going to a workshop and hearing a guy who said, ‘Aye man, boys will be boys.’ Like basically that because we’re men, this is in our nature and we can’t control ourselves.”
“It was a shock. I knew that was wrong. From that point on, I knew I had to be more vocal. Men have to hold themselves more accountable,” Tro’Juan told Elite Daily during an interview.
Hearing such a callous view had shaken him to his core.
These words could not be forgotten by Tro’Juan. They were powerful enough to motivate the 28-year-old to become an advocate for sexual assault survivors and victims of domestic violence. And now, with this video, he is promoting more awareness of the dangers women can find themselves in.
He stresses in his Twitter video that he didn’t want to encourage the practice of people not taking better precautions with inebriated friends.
He drove around the corner of their street and parked behind a neighbor’s car. Peering out from behind his steering wheel, he watched her.
Isabella ran out of the house and boarded the bus. He followed the bus to the school. Everything seemed fine until he realized what was going on. Was this all his fault?
Philip Pieri and his 11-year-old daughter lived together in Utah. Every morning, Philip has to leave for work before dawn so his daughter, Isabella, has to prepare for school and get on the bus herself.
As far as he knew, she always did this. So the first time she brought home a late slip, he didn’t think too much about it. But when she started bringing home more over the next two weeks, he started to worry.
A Happy Family
Isabella had a happy upbringing. Although they didn’t have much money, her home was loving and Philip always worked hard to ensure that she would not want for anything.
His wife, Patricia, was his rock and always assured him that everything would be ok. However, neither of them knew what life had in store for them.
Sadly, when Isabella was only three years old, Patricia was diagnosed with a terminal illness and passed away after a six-year battle. Philip was left distraught but decided to dedicate himself to working hard rather than wallow in grief and pity.
He promised to provide a good life for young Isabella. However, his determination meant that no one was there to help Isabella prepare for and get to school in the mornings.
After losing her mother, Isabella became very independent. Not only did she wake herself up early every morning, but she would also get herself ready for school and catch her school bus.
Life wasn’t easy but she soldiered on. Two years passed within the blink of an eye, and so too did problems that went unnoticed by Philip.
Isabella began to get warnings about being late for school every morning, so Philip sat down with her and asked her what was going on. But Isabella refused to talk.
She didn’t want him to know the truth. Instead, she’d quickly change the subject. He grew deeply suspicious and decided to try to get to the bottom of it, without her knowing.
Philip had a plan. He was going to leave work in time to see if Isabella really took the bus every day like she said she did. He drove to the corner of their street and waited, ducked down behind his steering wheel.
The bus pulled up and Isabella ran out and got in. He followed the bus to the school, and then he noticed something very strange.
A Change In Behavior
He knew that things were difficult for his daughter since her mother had passed away, but he never imagined this. Isabella had changed and he couldn’t even blame her.
It isn’t easy for a nine-year-old to lose a parent, and it took obviously its toll on Isabella. She was missing a role in her life that Philip simply couldn’t fill. And he was about to be reminded of that.
That evening Philip sat down with Isabella and confronted her again. He started off tentatively by asking her whether she had problems sleeping and whether that caused her to be late. Isabella denied this and offered no other information.
Without a choice, he then asked her about what he saw. Isabella’s eyes widened in surprise.
The Truth Comes Out
He asked her why she was being kept on the bus longer than the other children and whether that was what caused her to be late. Isabella broke down and sobbed as she told her father everything.
The driver had been holding Isabella back on the bus after all the other children had left. Philips brow knotted, “Why would she do that?” he asked.
A Big Problem
After her mother passed, there were a lot of things that Isabella simply couldn’t do or never learnt the skills to. This wasn’t news to Philip, he knew she was missing out on learning about girly things, things that were way out of his depth.
But he didn’t know it was this bad. A tear fell on his cheek as he raised his hand to catch it before she could see. What happened?
Since she was little, Isabella struggled with her hair. She didn’t know how to take care of it properly and was scared to tell her dad about it after what happened the last time.
He had tried as hard as possible to help untangle Isabella’s hair, but he didn’t know how to. “She’d get mad at me for pulling her hair. I didn’t know how to do it,” he admitted. That’s when he took drastic measures.
He took the clippers he used to trim his own hair and used it to shave off Isabella’s hair. After inspecting her bald head in the mirror, Isabella was horrified with what he had done.
However, knowing he was trying his best, she concealed her sadness. It took two years to grow out again. When her dad suggested shaving it the next time it got matted, Isabella refused. Then, they agreed on a compromise.
A Good Chop
Instead of shaving Isabella’s head again, Philip took out a pair of scissors and cut half of the length off. But this didn’t solve the issue, and soon Isabella’s hair was matted and unkempt again.
She had no choice but to tie it up to try to hide it, until the day the bus driver noticed.
Tracy Dean loved her job, and she loved children. When she saw that Isabella was struggling, she knew she had to step in.
She saw that Isabella’s hair had been cut the night before and suspected that her dad had no idea how to style it. She asked her to stay behind on the bus and whipped out a hairstyling kit from her handbag.
A Morning Routine
Soon, Isabella and Tracy’s hair styling sessions became routine. Tracy would comb Isabella’s hair out every morning and plait it into a French braid.
“I could tell she was struggling with her hair. We usually do two French braids first and once in a while she just wants one braid,” Tracy admitted in an interview. But why did she do it?
At first, it was slow-going. It took a full week of 10-minute sessions for Tracy to slowly untangle Isabella’s hair. She had been slightly late for school on those days, but Tracy knew it was important.
She has four children at home — one who is almost Isabella’s age. But when Isabella began to open up about her mom, Tracy couldn’t hold back.
A Deep Connection
When Tracy heard about Isabella’s mom, she started to cry. It was a story that was close to her own heart.
Tracy revealed that in the past, she had had cancer herself, just like Isabella’s mom. She knew she was lucky to have pulled through and was grateful that she could still be there for her children.
What Moms Do
“Seven years ago, I found out I had breast cancer, and that’s one of the things that went though my head,” Tracy said, pausing to hold back the tears.
“Who is going to take care of my little ones? Not that my husband couldn’t do it, but you know, that’s what mom’s do. They do their kids’ hair,” Tracy added.
A Motherly Touch
“I didn’t just survive for my husband or my children. I survived for these kids on the bus that need somebody to talk to or do their hair or whatever,” Tracy explained in an interview.
“I also taught (Isabella) how to brush her hair. She’d get on the bus and she’d say, ‘I brushed my hair. Does it look good? I’ll say, ‘You did awesome.’”
His Little Princess
Naturally, when Philip found out about Tracy and Isabella’s morning routine, he was dumbfounded. Isabella kept it from him because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
But Philip is only grateful to Tracy. “One day [Isabella] came home and it looked beautiful. I call her my princess and she looks the part, she plays the part and her confidence is way up, which is what I’ve been intending,” Philip said.
Philip says he “was amazed” when he learned that his daughter’s school bus driver had shown such an act of kindness. “Tracy didn’t have to step up, but she stepped up to help out,” he said, hiding the tears.
“I originally just gave her a crew cut because I didn’t know how, and it was all tangled and I couldn’t get it out for anything,” he told KSL TV.
“It makes me feel like she’s a mom pretty much to me, and it makes me really excited for the next day to see what she does,” Isabella said. But it goes much deeper than that.
For Isabella, her neat and beautifully styled hair has made a world of difference. And others noticed it, too. “I just noticed her head was a little higher that morning, and she had a little more of a step,” one of her teachers said.
Like many heartwarming stories, news of Dean’s act of kindness spread like wildfire thanks to social media. Netizens shared their thoughts on the story.
One user commented: “Loving this. Truly a wonderful reminder of what a contribution kindness is, for both the gifted and the gifter.” Another user said: “It’s the little things that are the big things.” But what does Isabella think?
A Humble Hero
“Tracy is the best bus driver in the whole galaxy!” Isabella exclaimed. And soon, the media caught wind of the heartwarming story and Tracy was hailed a hero, but she remains humble.
“It’s just the way my mom raised me, to be nice to everyone—people who need a little love in their life. I like to give all of the kids a chance—even the naughty kids,” she chimed.