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Student Success Story

Submitted By: Bill Bettencourt, Sierra Joint Consortia
Consortium: Sierra Joint Consortium

Meet Steven

Program Area(s): Career Technical Education , Workforce Re-entry

The Challenge

As an 18-year career truck driver, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, along with a degenerative disc in my neck, and also developed carpal tunnel tendonitis arthritis in my left wrist - my dominate hand. I found myself in a tricky situation because driving an 18-wheeler had become almost impossible for me to do. I was in a lot of pain. Because of the sleep apnea, I was arriving to work feeling fatigued, and while driving, I caught myself nodding off behind the wheel. Finally, my doctor took me off work and placed me on medical leave. I was faced with an uncertain future. At 54 years old, I was thinking that I am way too old to go back to school and learn a new trade, but I had to try. The reality of falling asleep behind the steering wheel was way too possible. My doctor told me about the Department of Rehabilitation.

The Solution

One of the benefits of the Department of Rehabilitation is its list of resources, and they suggested I sign up for classes at Placer School for Adults (PSA). I was in no way feeling like school material. The school counselor at PSA listened closely to my story and read all the documents I provided her. She put together a class schedule for me, and I began taking classes like Basic PC Skills; Switching Gears - New Careers; The Value of Emotional Intelligence; Creating a Resume and Cover Letter; CalJobs Overview; Introduction to Microsoft Word; Word 2016; Introduction to Windows 10 and English classes - along with many other classes they offered.


I went from being very computer illiterate to finding my way around a computer with a lot more ease. The “self-confidence” classes were fun and made me feel like I was a part of the team. They encouraged the class to break into groups (like a “think tank”) to come up with ideas on how to solve some of the problems we have right here in Auburn. It was a fun lesson and mentally stimulating. I have seen other adult students benefit from this program, as well, such as single mothers, homeless people, senior citizens wanting to get involved in their community and also small-business owners.

I am enrolling at Sierra College to further my education because of PSA's caring program.