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Students in Raines Academy CDL Training and Licensing Program Earn their Licenses

Eight Katy Independent School District students have recently earned their Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) through an innovative program launched for the 2023-2024 school year at the Martha Raines Academy.

In partnership with RGV CDL Services LLC, this pioneering program delivers comprehensive training to students without any financial burden, ensuring accessibility and affordability for all participants. The curriculum encompasses hands-on training covering various aspects of operating an 18-wheeler, including essential skills like straight backing, offset and parallel parking maneuvers, alongside computer-based learning modules.

With this license, students will be allowed to drive the trucks within the state of Texas until they turn 21 years of age. Upon reaching that age, these students will be allowed to drive semi-trucks across state lines.

Two female students are among the first eight students to earn their CDL. Additionally, both young ladies have deep-rooted family ties to the trucking industry. 

“I chose this career path to follow in my father’s footsteps,” said Melanie Martinez. “He owns his own trucking company and really enjoys what he does. Pursuing this career allows me to work for him one day.” 

Guadalupe Rosales also attributed her interest in the CDL license to her father's influence. “My father was a big influence on me. I observed how much he likes working in this industry and wanted to follow his lead.” 

Eduardo Canales, the first student to earn his Class A CDL, expressed his long-standing goal of driving a truck. “I've been interested in this field since childhood. This course not only prepared me for a career but also enhanced my overall enjoyment of school.” 

Adrian Lopez, another recent CDL recipient through the program, shared his family connection to the industry. “Both of my parents have operated 18-wheelers for many years. I saw this as a new opportunity for me to develop skills that could valuable later in my life.” 

Joel Guerrero driven by a lifelong passion for trucks and driving, emphasized the challenge of the course. “I have always loved driving and maneuvering these 18-wheelers was always appealing to me,” he said. “This course is a challenge but if you love something like this, it makes you work that much harder.” 

Felipe Rodriguez, who also recently earned his CDL, has family ties to the industry. “Both my parents drive and I have admired their dedication to this profession and wanted to have the same career as they do,” he said. “Now that I have earned my CDL I am ready to start driving a truck once I complete high school.” 

All the students shared that they had to stop on top of the lessons the entire semester. “This course takes up a lot of your time. You must dedicate yourself to the lessons,” Josh Sowunmi said. “It is not just driving the 18-wheeler, there are so many scenarios you have to navigate through with the computer-based problems and exams.

Thanks to this innovative program, these students will begin their professional journeys armed with their CDLs and a wealth of knowledge acquired in this program.