#135 – After Son’s Armed Roberry Conviction, Mother Opens Up “Truck Driving School” For Felons!

Early life:

Many people are intrigued by star truck driving school by the story of Michelle Harris, owner of 3 Rivers Truck Driving School. Though raised in the crime-ridden city of Gary, Ind., Harris has seen the sunnier side of life. “It was bad growing up there,” says Harris, “but I don’t regret it.”

Despite having no college degree and dropping out of 11th grade, what she has achieved in life and done for society—especially ex-felons—is nothing short of admirable. Although she’s never had a business star truck driving school background in her family, Harris has always known that she wanted to be in business. Her passion for business might have originated from a briefcase-toting woman she saw as a child. Harris aspired to be just like her—a businesswoman. At the tender age of 16, she began to make money by flipping.

The failed marriage made Harris see that she had worth, and she put her foot down and demanded better for herself. She moved to Georgia with her kids to prove a point to the ex-husband, who said she’d never make it on her own. Harris had struggled to make her living there, taking odd jobs and trying to find a place within the community. Clearly, Harris has demonstrated admirable dedication and hard work. She now runs a truck driving school.

Harris had a heart for the incarcerated and did a prison ministry. She used to visit a prison twice a week and lead bible studies, praying for the prisoners and showing them that people cared about them. While she was doing prison ministry, her son got arrested for armed robbery, resulting in a seven-year prison sentence. In a drive to show her son that there was more to life after prison and give him a source of hope for the future, Harris founded a truck-driving-school company.

Interaction with TN’H:

“It was a rough, rough area to get into the game,” Harris said on being asked about the challenges of starting a school. The application to start a school was rejected twenty-two times before the state finally approved it. In an interview with TN’H, Harris shared her experiences with her challenges in starting a truck driving school. These challenges are not just paperwork and compliance issues but factors like the economy and the number of schools recently opened. She provided a list of challenges and how one might cope with those challenges.

By the time Harris and her husband, Arie, established their truck driving school, her husband had worked for many years in the same industry. Harris advised beginning by setting quality control standards for training materials and procedures in response to a question about how to start such a business. She shared several strategies they have found helpful in managing students, classes, and instructors. She explained how they started their school, how they got it off the ground, and what they’ve learned through experience.

Humorously, Harris describes the first group of students to enter the school; she then explains how that group’s “industry standard” for pricing compares with the truck driving school’s prices. She emphasized the importance of regular training and offered tips for overcoming challenges faced by those seeking to learn how to drive a truck.

Final thought:

At the conclusion of her interview, Michelle Harris said, “Do not forget your dreams. It is important to have that dream and finally realize it so that it becomes a reality.”

To know more about 3 Rivers Truck Driving School, Please view the Video Below


Episode Timeline

[skipto time=20:00]20:00 – Self discovery. [/skipto]

[skipto time=34:45] 34:45 – Challenges to start truck driving school.[/skipto]

[skipto time=59:08]59:08 – Standard price in trucking school. [/skipto]

[skipto time=1:16:49]1:16:49- The toughest part of the job. [/skipto]


About The Host

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Rahmel Wattley

The creator & host of Truck N’ Hustle, is a renowned personality in the trucking & logistics industry who hosts podcasts with the reputed & successful trucking entrepreneurs to share the knowledge required to start & sustain the logistics business!

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Michelle Harris

Upon visiting their son in the maximum-security prison, they realized this was bigger than their son and they had to do something for young men like him to transition out of the prison system upon release. 3 Rivers Trucking School was born. At first, they intended to train only people recently released from prison, Today they train approximately 60 students of all types monthly.

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