DONNA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Donna Independent School District has many programs intended to help students reach their career goals.

One of those programs that help students train is for commercial truck driving and amid a nationwide shortage of truckers, this program is not only beneficial to the economy but to the students.

18-year-old Donna North High School Senior Cecilia Contreras said she’s dreamed of becoming a truck driver. This came true after the district offered a unique educational program, called the Commercial Driver’s License Program (CDL). The program is geared towards commercial truck driving which is led by instructor Guadalupe Quintero.

“We go over all the material you need to get your permit. You got to get the training and all the hours,” said Quintero. As for Contreras, she said, “it was difficult but after getting my permit maybe a week later we started traveling to Edinburg to travel on the truck.” 

She eventually found her footing and is now the first female in the program to gain her CDL in December 2021, accomplishing this goal before graduating in May.  

“It was inspiring honestly because it was really hard work with all the people helping. It was a bit challenging, but we worked together,” said Contreras. 

Contreras’s desire to become a truck driver comes from her relationship with her father who is also a truck driver.

“Because my dad always talked about working together when he got his license,” said Contreras. 

Quintero said from the number of students he has helped over the years gain their CDL, now more than ever this program is needed because of the shortage of truck drivers. 

“The older truck drivers are leaving, and the younger class is not looking to be a truck driver or they’re not introduced or given that opportunity, and Donna [ISD] have come to say that’s an option,” said Quintero. 

Happy to be included as another trucker to help amid the shortage, Contreras said she loves exploring and traveling because it is amazing and fun for her to see new things.