Photos Above: Climb Wyoming graduate Felicia is now an instructor training other moms to launch commercial driving careers.
Because you believe in women like Felicia, Wyoming families are conquering poverty to build better lives, healthier communities, and a stronger workforce.
What does Climb graduate Felicia like more than driving trucks? Teaching commercial driving (CDL) students how to operate large semis and launch high-paying, in-demand careers.
“I’m not a very tall person,” Felicia jokes about how surprised some of her students at Mountain West Commercial Driving School are when they meet her. “But when they have bad nerves, I’m calm.” Felicia’s supportive approach has earned her the nickname “Mountain West Momma.”
This spring, she traveled to Rock Springs to train other Climb moms earning their CDLs. “I told them everything I’d gone through…and that no matter what’s happening now, it doesn’t determine your future. I said, ‘look at me, I’m on top of the world right now!’”
Six months earlier, Felicia was fighting hard to start over after traveling a difficult road. “I had just regained custody of my kids and gotten clean from my struggles with addiction,” she recalls.
Felicia says participating in Climb was the most important step she took to transform her life.
As soon as the program started, she realized Climb was there to support all aspects of her life in preparation for a new job.
“I got constant support,” she recalls. “My family’s social security cards and birth certificates had been stolen, so Climb even helped me navigate the process of getting new ones.”
Felicia also benefited from Climb’s group and individual counseling. “I cried a lot going through some of my past struggles, but Climb was always there to listen.” She found support from the other moms, too. “Some of us were pretty broken when we came to Climb. When you feel like you’re the only one struggling, going through things as a group lets you see the small successes along the way. It’s so empowering.”
Since starting her job placement at Mountain West Commercial Driving School, Felicia has earned pay raises, moved from a small apartment into a house, and received medical benefits that are critical to treat a kidney condition. Her kids, ages 6, 10, and 13, are proud of their mom.
Felicia is proud that, so far, her driving students have a 100% success rate passing their CDL tests.