Developmentally Disabled Students Gain Independence through Bus Training
St. Petersburg, Fla. – For most teens and young adults, the ability to get around town independently is the ultimate sign of freedom. On Tuesday, May 12, the students of Project 10 STING RAY will know that freedom, many for the first time in their lives.
Project 10 STING RAY, based out of USF St. Petersburg, is a collaborative program that offers young adults with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to experience life on a college campus.
PSTA has partnered with Project 10 STING RAY for a day to provide an introductory course on how to ride public transportation to these students who need it most. After the presentation, the STING RAY students will board an empty PSTA bus and for many, take their first “ride” towards autonomy.
“Independence is what we strive for,” said Annie Johnson, Curriculum Coordinator for Project 10 STING RAY. “We help them develop their social skills and prepare them for employment, but without PSTA they could not be truly independent.”
Demetrius Sullivan, 2nd-year STING RAY student and PSTA TRAC Committee member, knows first-hand the importance of public transportation, especially for those with disabilities, and will be leading a group of new students on this exciting journey.
The moment will last a few hours, but the experience will allow these students to seek job opportunities, develop social lives, and pursue further education.
“This is their best shot at a fulfilling life,” said Johnson.
Press / Photo Opportunities
- Full-access to interviews with STING RAY students and staff
- Annie Johnson, Curriculum Coordinator
- Demetrius Sullivan, STING RAY student and PSTA TRAC Committee member
- PSTA staff presenters
- Juan Luvian, PSTA Marketing and Sales Coordinator
- Chris Cochran, PSTA Senior Planner
- Ride-along with cameras on the PSTA bus to capture the students emotions on this exciting journey
- Additional requests can be arranged upon notice
About PSTA: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 14.5 million rides per year. PSTA operates nearly 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 203 vehicles. To learn more about the services offered by PSTA, or for schedule and fare information, passengers are invited to call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900, or visit . PSTA is an equal opportunity employer.