Video: School bus hero adjusts to limelight

updated 8/7/2007 8:06:02 PM ET 2007-08-08T00:06:02

A man who helped evacuate a school bus full of children after the deadly interstate bridge collapse has a generous offer to consider.

Jeremy Hernandez, 20, dropped out of Dunwoody College of Technology because he couldn’t afford the $15,000 tuition. Now, he can finish his two-year automotive technician degree for free if he wants to come back, the school said Tuesday.

Hernandez, a gym coordinator for a Minneapolis community organization, was coming back from a water park with a group of 52 children, ages 5-14, when the bus dropped toward the Mississippi River gorge as the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed near downtown on Aug 1.

All the children, seven staff members, the driver of the bus and Hernandez got out of the bus safely, according to Molly Schwartz, communications director for Pillsbury United Communities, a nonprofit group that employs Hernandez.

Dunwoody President C. Ben Wright said the school created a fund that would pay for the education of people “who have done unselfish things trying to better society.” The fund was created in response to Hernandez’s efforts.

“There is a guarantee that we will see him through to graduation” if Hernandez keeps his grades up, Wright said. The school has received offers to help pay for Hernandez’s education, as well as some contributions.

Hernandez, dubbed the 'hero of Twin Cities,' did not immediately respond to a request for comment left with his sister.

A school employee has spoken with Hernandez’s mother, but Hernandez has not yet accepted the offer, Wright said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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