Cristinia Whipple is a single mother who worked at the United States Post Office for more than 10 years of her life when she finally decided she wanted a change.
Cristinia Whipple is a single mother who worked at the United States Post Office for more than 10 years of her life when she finally decided she wanted a change. She enjoyed being at her job but realized that with her daughter growing up, she would soon be home alone, so she wanted to implement a change and find a new career goal.
She began searching for programs to get involved with to connect her to vocational training opportunities and that was when Cristinia found Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC) and got connected to her Employment Coach, Meaghan Owens, BSW. Cristinia explained to her coach that she enjoyed driving for the Post Office but was looking for an opportunity to really get immersed in the field of logistics and transportation by attaining her commercial driver’s license (CDL) – class A.
In December 2020, after hearing from her Employment Coach about the Bridges to Career Opportunities (BCO) program at MRNC, Cristinia immediately began the enrollment process and thanked her coach for being one of the first people to listen to her and provide her with an opportunity to change her life. She compiled all required documentation for her file, completed her Bridge Application, attended a three-day long Job Readiness course hosted virtually by MRNC Employment Services staff, and passed her TABE test to show proficiency in math and reading. It was then time for Cristinia to register for CDL classes and dive into her chosen career path, right after she finished the last day of her job at the Post Office.
Due to CDL-A classes being Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm for about four weeks, Cristinia had to resign at her job at the Post Office. During this time, Mary Rigg provided wrap around services for Cristinia in the form of rental assistance to alleviate some of the financial stress she was experiencing. This allowed Cristina to register and begin vocational training classes in February 2021.
On February 15th, 2021, Cristinia began CDL-A classes through a partnership with C1 Truck Driver Training, where she attended classes full-time for four weeks. She spent time every day during those four weeks working on homework, quizzes/tests, and hands-on driving to practice becoming a CDL driver. By March 11th Cristinia had completed all class requirements, including the required minimum practice time of driving a semi-truck and was ready to take her state licensing exam to earn her CDL-A.
Later in the day on March 11th, Tom Hruban of C1 Truck Driver Training, confirmed with Cristinia and Meaghan that Cristinia had passed her state test and was officially a CDL-A holder! Cristinia was now ready to transition and begin searching for a new job in the field of logistics and transportation, with the help of her Employment Coach.
Prior to meeting her Employment Coach at Mary Rigg, Cristinia was content staying at the Post Office and putting her own needs to the side while she took care of her child. However, through her participation in the available programming at MRNC, she has since gained a multitude of support in the form of employment, educational, and financial stability.
Thanks to programs like EmployIndy and BCO, stories like Cristinia’s can happen every day. The unending support and funding ensure that MRNC can persist in being a leader to empower individuals to participate in adult education and job training programs in and around Indianapolis.