Renita Smith had no thoughts for her own safety when she dashed onto a flaming school bus in Baltimore, Maryland. Instead, her only concern was for the 20 young children on board on that day in September 2016. And it was an act of bravery that caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. When the talk show host learned about the mom of two’s lifestyle, though, she was left in shock.

As the bus driver, Smith naturally felt that the young kids were her responsibility until she got them home from school. Moreover, having two children herself, her maternal instinct took over, and she had to double-check that no one had been left behind after emptying the bus.

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