Travel Like You Give a Damn: Awesome Mobile Classrooms Travel Like You Give a Damn: Awesome Mobile Classrooms

Travel Like You Give a Damn: Awesome Mobile Classrooms

by Alice G.

June 7, 2013

In the realm of IT, visionary Estella Pyfrom bought and outfitted a bus with computers to bring technology to students, adults and even seniors. The moving IT lab has 17 computer stations and has provided more than 2,000 students with free, computer-based learning. Called “Estella’s Brilliant Bus,” the vehicle brings learning to schools, shelters and community centers throughout Palm Beach County, FL. Many of the families she reaches do not otherwise have access to computers and are therefore getting further behind in the digital realm. Estella’s Brilliant Bus team shares educational software and provides GED and college assistance, leadership training as well as tutoring in school basics allowing students to catch up and excel. Adults are trained in banking, resume and job searching techniques. Pyfrom is a career educator and at 76-years-old, has spent her own savings on the bus.

The popular John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a full recording studio on wheels. In existence for more than 16 years, the bus brings the latest software and technologies to students for the purpose of creating art, music and film. There are three on board engineers that work with students through free workshops to produce music, video and photography. In just a single-day workshop, students can create a mini feature film, documentary or music video. All these activities allow youth that would never dream of having access to this kind of equipment, a channel for self expression and the hope of a career in the creative music and video fields.

The Bus also travels the country visiting schools, music and technology conferences, and partners with media outlets to host the competitive high school Battles of the Bands. During the Lennon Bus tours, hundreds of thousands of students and educators have the opportunity to get inspired through hands-on experience with the equipment found on board.

The Classroom on Wheels project was born in Mexico by Katie Clancy, co-founder of Colectivo 473, a nonprofit that brings art and education to children living in group homes and marginalized communities. These youth face the common challenges of poverty: domestic and gang violence, drugs, alcoholism, high unemployment, single-parent households, illiteracy and teen pregnancy. They lack supervision and after-school programming. Because of geography, economic hardship, and the work schedules of their relatives they cannot traverse the city. Classroom on Wheels sought to address these challenges. The concept is to bring educational programming to the children via a Jeep stocked with science, art, photography, IT equipment, books, and cooking supplies. For travelers driving to Mexico, consider bringing down supplies and volunteering to deliver educational workshops in partnership with

Alice Gugelev is the Director of, transforming the adventure travel sector by including volunteering as a standard part of every traveler’s plans.

This piece is part of the series "Travel Like You Give a Damn," where we share stories of inspiring individuals who are traveling around the world with purpose.

Illustration by Corinna Loo

Join us for our Fix Your Street Challenge on the last Saturday of May. Click here to say you'll Do It and be sure to share stories of transportation innovation all month.
Recently on GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Travel Like You Give a Damn: Awesome Mobile Classrooms