SAN DIEGO — Looking at local Uber driver Scott Anderson, you immediately notice his challenges, but once he starts talking it’s easy to see he’s a man on a mission.
Anderson is not what most people expect when they climb into the backseat of a rideshare vehicle.
“They take a second look, a double take,” said Anderson of his passengers.
Anderson was born with cerebral palsy.
“I came out dead, not breathing and so it took about five minutes to revive me,” said Anderson.
His car features a special steering knob to help him navigate. Other than that, it’s exactly like a regular vehicle.
As far as the safety aspect, Anderson says he has a clean record and has passed all the necessary driving tests. Uber said it’s supportive and has even partnered with Enabled Employment to help people with disabilities and especially deaf drivers find work.
Anderson drives in part to provide for his family, he and his wife just adopted three girls, but also because he’s a motivational speaker. His vehicle is his pulpit for encouragement.
“People come in discouraged, in a lousy relationship,” he said. “With my minister background, it allows me to encourage them and give them hope.”
Anderson says he’s received dozens of notes from those encounters, including one from passenger Lauren Curley.
“He told us about his videos and his daughters and I just thought that was incredible,” she said. “The whole story was inspiring.”
Curley kept in touch and thought it would be meaningful for Anderson to meet her nephew, who also has cerebral palsy. FOX 5 was there the day they met in Del Cerro.
Anderson and Jake Froman, an eleventh grader at Torrey Pines High School, hit it off immediately. Anderson offered college advice. He jokingly told Froman to ask the prettiest girl in the class to help him take notes.
“I don’t care if she’s literate or not,” laughed Anderson. “Because when you do that, you get to study together. It’s awesome!”
Anderson and Froman share a common outlook on life – no limitations.
“He wouldn’t be surprised at meeting somebody like Scott,” said Froman’s mom Jennifer. “The fact that he’s married and has children; a career and so forth. He fully expects to have all those things.”
For Anderson, his purpose is clear as a mentor, father and husband.
“He loves God,” said his wife Sara Anderson. “He loves people and I think that’s why his job is a good one for him.”
His mission as a driver is also clear.
“They see a guy with a disability who has hope,” said Anderson of his passengers. “(A guy) who just bought a house, who has a family and that that gives the people hope who don’t realize the potential that they have.”
Offering inspiration one passenger at a time.
“My purpose every day is to help people in whatever area I can,” he said.