Modus, Rayla Young, Kristen Blake

Modus Program Specialist Kristen Blake drives Modus client Rayla Young to work, where she hands out meals to Tulsa Public Schools students.

Making a difference can be as simple as giving someone a ride across town — something the staff and volunteers at Tulsa-based nonprofit Modus do every day.

Founded in 2017, Modus partners with service organizations such as Youth Services of Tulsa, Mental Health Association Oklahoma, and Still She Rises to provide young people ages 13-24 with free curb-to-curb transportation to appointments with these agencies. Through its ModusEd program, the nonprofit also teaches every Tulsa Public Schools student how to use public transit in Tulsa.

Rayla Young, 21, was connected with Modus earlier this year through Tulsa Community WorkAdvance to attend career readiness training. This summer she worked at schools across the city distributing meals to Tulsa Public Schools students and was able to utilize the program to get from home to work and back.

Without Modus, Young says she would be paying for ridesharing services like Lyft.

“I wouldn’t be able to save as much money, that’s for sure,” says Young, who estimates she saves $50 a week with Modus. That $200 a month goes toward savings for her future, including a car. Young studied accounting this spring and is pursuing work in the field.

Kristen Blake, a program specialist who drives part time for Modus, also is working toward a bachelor’s degree — in social work. Partner agencies book rides on behalf of their clients, then send transportation details to Modus.

Blake says driving for Modus is more rewarding for her than for those she is transporting.

“I get to drive for some of the same clients, and we get to know each other,” she says. “Sometimes they just need somebody to listen to them talk about something difficult.”

Other times the conversation is simple, just like the help being provided.

“Mostly we talk about food,” she laughs. “That seems to be something everyone loves to talk about.” 

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