Arkansas Teen Becomes First High School Student in State’s History to Complete CDL Training
Forrest City, AR — An Arkansas teenager has made history in the state by becoming the first high school student to successfully complete a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program.
Jaquize Green, 18, is a Senior at Forrest City High School (FCHS) where he runs track and plays baseball.
And now, Green can add “CDL school graduate” to his list of accomplishments after recently graduating the pilot teen trucker commercial driver training (CDT) program at East Arkansas Community College (EACC).
Green was the only student in the pilot program, which was held in the Fall semester 2021, a college representative told Transportation Nation Network (TNN).
“Through our experiences with him as a high school student in the program, we were able to establish the processes needed in order to develop the high school CDT program,” EDCC stated.
Green began the program in November 2021 and graduated the following month.
“I got excited at first because I ain’t ever been in a big truck. It was my first time being in one,” Green stated.
Green is scheduled to test for his CDL license this week, EACC told TNN.
One of the most memorable parts of the CDT program for Green was the mentorship from experienced drivers.
“You get to learn from the old heads, smart knowledge you know, none of these young cats. Smart old men,” he said.
According to FCHS, Green was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and has had to receive treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital every two weeks.
Despite his frequent travel to St. Jude, he always “found time to show up to class and, ultimately, make history,” the school proudly stated.
As the Spring 2022 semester kicks off, EACC will once again be offering a teen trucker CDT program, along with its well-established CDL program for aspiring drivers of any ages.
The high school course lasts the entire semester and is open to 18-year-old students who are screened into the program, according to EACC.
To support the program, EACC stated it added a full-time instructor, an additional driving range, and is covering all the fuel and maintenance costs, as well as the cost of licensure testing.
EACC said it is expecting eight to ten students enrolled in the CDT program in the Spring semester and enrollment is still open.
“Good teacher, culture… everything’s good,” Green said of the program. “Ain’t nothing dangerous, none of that. You’re going to learn how to drive a big truck at the end of the day.”
Green says he aspires to work for a company that offers attractive benefits and a competitive 401(k) plan and is currently seeking employment opportunities.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is also launching a new teen trucker pilot program allowing truckers as young as 18-years-old to operate cross-country.
Click HERE for TNN’s extensive reporting on the upcoming program.