PHOENIX - With just a smile, a wave and a personal experience she holds close to her heart, a crossing guard at Las Brisas Elementary can get people to slow down and drive through her school zone safely.
Each morning and afternoon, Kim Stemsrud guards this crosswalk with her life and a sweet smile.
"I still greet everyone, though," she said. "They wave, they honk, they roll their windows down and they stop and say, 'hi.'"
After learning about a tragedy that struck a little too close to home, Kim started this new job two weeks ago.
"It's close to my heart," she said. "I have a friend from high school and the beginning of the school year his son got hit by a semi-truck in a crosswalk."
The problem, Kim says, that she often sees is speeding, distracted driving, or sometimes -- both.
"A lot of people are on their phones and not paying attention and driving in the crossing area and just driving way too fast," she said.
But for Kim, this is much more than a job. She hopes she could help to make a change.
No matter how goofy she may feel or look, she draws just the right amount of attention to keep drivers aware.
That way, everyone is safe in her school zone.
"People are smiling. I'm getting thumbs up, so it's important. I just want them to slow down," she said.