The decision to venture into truck driving was sparked by a simple thought that crossed her mind every time a truck passed on the road: “I can do that.” Watching YouTube videos about women in trucking only fueled her fascination with the idea, leading her to take a leap of faith into a new career path.
Originally from Columbus, Mississippi, and now residing in Ocean Springs, Nicole’s love for travel and the prospect of driving a truck across the country made trucking an appealing choice. Despite 20 years of experience in Dallas and a successful career in insurance and freelance editing, she was drawn to the allure of the open road.
Nicole’s journey took an unexpected turn when she discovered the truck driving program at MGCCC’s George County Center. Opting for a more affordable option compared to other schools, Nicole was pleasantly surprised to find out that the classes were offered at no charge through a grant program. This financial relief saved her about $7,000, making her decision to enroll at MGCCC even more rewarding.
The first moments in class were nerve-wracking, with concerns about fitting in, especially being one of the few women in a traditionally male-dominated field. However, Nicole quickly found camaraderie among her classmates and instructors. Learning to back the truck proved to be a challenging yet empowering experience, with the support of a close-knit class encouraging each other through the tough moments.
Nicole speaks highly of her instructors, Douglas Reitz and Garry Grant, who provided unwavering support and a wealth of information. The practical insights, including talks with Mississippi Department of Transportation enforcement personnel and a visit to a Weigh Station, prepared Nicole and her classmates for real-world scenarios.
Having completed the course and passed her CDL exam with tanker, hazmat, and doubles/triples endorsements, Nicole is now on the lookout for job opportunities. Her ultimate goal is to drive a hazmat tanker, a challenge she embraces despite the physical demands. “I’ve already proven I can do so much,” she affirms, highlighting her determination to overcome obstacles and pursue her newfound passion.
Nicole Harrison’s story exemplifies the spirit of resilience, curiosity, and the pursuit of dreams, proving that it’s never too late to embark on a new path and redefine one’s journey. Her experience at MGCCC’s George County Center stands as a testament to the power of education and the boundless possibilities that come with embracing change.