The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation was named after an Alabama man’s mother, who was shot by his father in front of his eyes when he was boy.

The Birmingham youth ended up homeless and in poverty, and might have chosen the wrong path, were it not for a school teacher who encouraged him to do his best.

Today, Dr. Shelley Stewart is a successful businessman who wants to make an impact on youth. His Choice Bus, fabricated to be half school bus and half jail cell, creates a dramatic and lasting impression on middle and high school students across Alabama.

Instead of creating programs to keep students in school, Stewart developed a fleet of three buses, a dramatic film and learning tools that help young people understand the consequences and rewards of the choices they make.

The front of the bus looks like a normal school bus, but the back is a replica of a jail cell complete with authentic prison bars, bunk beds and a standard issue stainless toilet.

“We designed our tools to let young people and their families experience first-hand the powerful benefits of education and the likely consequences that await high school dropouts,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director Sherri Stewart. “We know from student and teacher testimonies that we’re having a positive impact on their choice to stay in school.”

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Thanks to Mike McGinley for submitting the link!



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