Women in Trucking Association Adds To Industry's Training Scholarships

by Jana Ritter - Published: 8/14/2013

The first group of students to receive funding from the Women In Trucking Scholarship Foundation has been announced. The six winners (five women and one man) are all members of the Women In Trucking Association and were each awarded a $500 scholarship for driver training.

Woman trucker

The six recipients and their training facilities are:
•Julie Schroeder, CDL-Southeast Community College, Lincoln, Neb.
•Lavina Price, Central NM Community College, Albuquerque, N.M.
•Trista Ellis, York Technical College, Rock Hill, S.C.
•Josese Cox, Central NM Community College, Albuquerque, N.M.
•Michele Turner, Greenville Technical College, Greenville, S.C.
•Kathleen Smith, Colorado Transportation School, Commerce City, Colo.

Amongst the group is Trista Ellis, who was a nurse when she met her husband, a professional truck driver. She enjoyed the stories he shared about his career and soon she decided to join him on the road. For the six months she accompanied him as a passenger, she found herself, “happier than I had ever been in my entire life,” she claims. Ellis grew eager to not only learn more about the trucking industry, but to become his team driver as well and she enrolled at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  She will graduate next month from the CDL training program and join the industry’s professional drivers.

“I am completely devoted to this career,” Ellis said, “I believe that if more women were exposed to this industry, they would love it as much as I do.” She plans to join her husband as a team driver at Crete Carriers.

The scholarship application process began in April and continued through the end of July with funding available in four areas:  leadership, technical training, safety, and driving. But of the fourteen applications received, all were for driver training.

“We are so pleased to be able to provide a portion of the tuition these students must pay to start their career in the trucking industry,” said Jan Hamblin, Chairwoman of the WIT Foundation board of directors. “We would have liked to have awarded training funds for safety, leadership, and technical skills as well, but we’re happy to help bring six new drivers into the industry.”

Interested students will soon have another chance, as the foundation will begin accepting applications again in January 2014 until the end of March. Donations can also be made to the foundation at anytime and information can be found at

Applicants must be a member of the Women In Trucking Association and be enrolled in a training program in one of the four areas of study. Funds are to be used for tuition and checks will be mailed directly to the school.

Women In Trucking was established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women - sixteen percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is  supported by its members and the generous support of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, LLC, Daimler Trucks NA, Frito-Lay NA, Great Dane Trailers, Hyundai Translead, and Walmart and Silver Level Partner C.H. Robinson.