NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - It was an emotional reunion between a longtime school van driver and a former student that was three decades in the making.

Amanda Joseph and her bus driver, Kathy Neves, formed a special bond when Joseph said Neves helped her through a tough time in her life.

“I’ve remembered Kathy my whole life since I was like four or five,” she said. “She would come and bring me breakfast, she would brush and braid my hair in the morning, and she would often have clothes for me to wear.”

Wanting to reconnect and thank Neves for her help, Joseph took to Facebook to track down her long-lost driver.

“I felt like I wanted to say thank you, and I wondered often if I would ever get the chance,” she said.

Soon, people started sharing their own stories about Neves’s kind heart and Joseph was able to reconnect with her.

The two met for breakfast to catch up, and Joseph even got to introduce Neves to her 1-year-old son.

Joseph said that she is so grateful for everything that Neves did, including getting her and her sisters into foster care.

“She recognized that it was an unsafe situation and gave us a second chance with a new family and a new hope,” Joseph said.

Now, she said she tries to give kids that she works with the same type of attention and consideration that Neves gave her.

“I work at a school and oftentimes I have students who come from troubled situations and I try to understand them,” she said. “And I think of Kathy and how she did that for me.”

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