Some students take the yellow school bus each day, but at Sulphur Springs Elementary another type of bus waits to take the students home.

It's called a walking school bus. Twenty-two-year-old Sammie Fudge is the 'driver.'

Fudge waits for a group of 10 students outside the front gate of the school. Then, when school lets out, Fudge takes them on a lively journey home.

"We get to play and sing songs," said 9-year-old Ruby Ruiz.

Each day, Fudge mixes the rules of the road with some childhood fun.

Fudge started walking the group after a tragedy involving a young girl he never met. In February, a third grader from Suphur Springs Elementary was walking across Busch Boulevard when she was struck by a car and killed.

"So that was like whoa," Fudge said. "There was really no street signs or nothing to help her out."

It's why Fudge volunteered to help with the YMCA's Walking School Bus Program. The program is funded through Florida Blue Foundation and run in partnership with USF's Center for Urban Transportation Research.

The children consider Fudge a role model.

"He helps me with my homework," said 7-year-old Fredy Ruiz.

And for Fudge, the kids keep him going. His enthusiasm has sparked an interest from neighbors and beyond.

"Seeing him, a lot of others have joined the bandwagon," said Saima Qadree, the senior program director for Tampa's YMCA.

Because of Fudge's involvement, there are 14 walking school buses in the Tampa Bay area. This is the first year for the program.