Episode 165: A Brilliant Idea – Estella Pyfrom’s ‘Brilliant Bus’

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Today’s podcast focuses on the inspirational story of a rather remarkable woman, Estella Pyfrom. Estella has had quite the eventful life. She started working at the age of 6, picking beans in the segregated South to help her family make ends meet. Later in life, she received her Master’s Degree and taught in the Palm Beach County School district for over 50 years. Once retirement age rolled around, Estella opted against putting her feet up and watching the days go by. In fact, you could say that she had a rather brilliant idea.

Estella and her husband Willie used their retirement savings to build a bus, later outfitted with 17 computer stations and a generator, to bring free, computer-based tutoring to thousands of children from low-income households. The bus is fittingly enough, known as ‘Estella’s Brilliant Bus’, and to talk about it, she joined Guy Evans on the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast. Some of the highlights:


“We’ve invested more a million dollars of our own personal funds [into the bus], not all at the same time, but in terms of [its on-going] operation.”

“We empower [people] through Education and through technology with the skills to improve their lifestyles. Together, we can really make a big difference.”


“The fact that you don’t have very much doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful. It’s not what you have – it’s your dreams, and the attitudes that you have about building those dreams. If the dream is big enough, and you’re determined, you can achieve it.”


“My vision for the next three-to-five years is to move forward across the nation and across the world. We have not reached out across the world yet, but that is our plan – to be able to reach children and families in under-served communities in all cities and States [of America], and across the world, [to] replicate this project.”

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