For many young Tulsans, rides mean more than just transportation

Tulsa — When MODUS first began operating as a branch of Youth Services of Tulsa, the goal was to provide rides for young Tulsans who need to get to important destinations.

“About 15 to 20 percent of young people in Tulsa lack the transportation to the medical and social services that they need to get to to succeed,” MODUS Executive Director Leslie Neal told KRMG Monday. “So, that could be counseling sessions, that could be doctor’s appointments, that could be job training, certain educational opportunities, and so on.”

But, Neal says, she soon learned that those rides were providing more than just transportation.

For some of those young people, it was one of the few indications they had that someone cares enough to help them.

[Hear the full interview with MODUS Executive Director Leslie Neal HEHear the full interview with MODUS Executive Director Leslie Neal HERERE]

“They know that someone is taking time out of their day to go show them that they care about that youth, and go pick them up from their house to make sure that they get to where they need to go,” she said. “It increases the likelihood that that person’s going to continue to go back to those services, because they know someone is sitting there waiting, and making sure that they get there.”

For adults seeking a volunteer opportunity, MODUS might be a good fit - especially for those who don’t have a lot of spare time.

“It’s kind of a micro-volunteering opportunity, if you will,” Neal told KRMG. “It could take about 30 minutes to complete a trip for a young person, but it could make a world of difference for this youth, who otherwise would not be able to access services.”

MODUS has also gone to TPS high schools to teach them about using the Tulsa Transit system, an effort that Neal says led to a major boost in the use of public transportation by students.

In the future, she hopes to establish programs for other demographics, including people who are physically unable to drive.

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