A Parent’s Perspective: Felicia Thomas says Quality Training from OFTC Equipped Her Son for Career Success

Felicia Thomas and Fred Walker

Frederick Walker comes from a family of truck drivers and has always known it is something he wanted to do.  

Growing up in Sandersville, Frederick’s seen the Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) student drivers behind the wheel of the big rigs driving through town and on the highways. So, when it came time to choose a career and higher education, OFTC was the obvious choice shared Felicia Thomas, Frederick’s mom.  

She knew her son would thrive in a more hands-on environment and that OFTC offered programs which would lead to opportunities for a more advanced salary. 

“I obtained my first degree from a technical college and am an advocate for technical education,” Felicia shared. “We were confident that OFTC offered well-established programs and would provide Fred with the training he needed to be successful.”  

Career Minded 

Fred started taking classes in Diesel Equipment Technology before he completed the Commercial Truck Driving (CTD) program. “We were aware of the state regulations and age limits with drivers, so I encouraged him to enroll in the diesel equipment technology program and obtain those certificates in the meantime,” Felicia said. “Once enrolled in the diesel technology program, Fred worked with the instructor to move into the truck driving course.” 

“We saw the benefit to both programs and didn’t see use in wasting time when the opportunities were there,” she added.  

Fred enjoyed his OFTC classes and had a positive experience. “He spoke highly of the training and knowledge he was receiving early on in his program,” Felicia said. “He was always able to access staff when needed and knew them by name and face.”  

“I can’t say enough good things about OFTC,” she continued. “The atmosphere is very positive, and every person that I’ve reached out to has been helpful.”  

OFTC’s Impact 

Fred Walker during OFTC's June 2023 Commencement & High School Equivalency ceremony.
Fred Walker during OFTC’s June 2023 Commencement & High School Equivalency ceremony.

Fred graduated in June with his Commercial Truck Driving Certificate, a Diesel Equipment Technology Diploma, and several diesel program certificates of credit, and already has plans to return to OFTC to further his education toward an associate degree. He’s currently employed as a mechanic at Howard Shepherd in Sandersville and has plans to one day purchase and own a commercial truck.  

The impact of his experience at OFTC is obvious, his mom shared. Not only has Fred learned a skill that directly translates into employment, but he’s gained confidence as a student. “The class sizes at OFTC allowed for more personalized instruction,” Felicia shared. “Fred was recognized as an actual student in a class of 10 or 15 versus being just a number on a roster of 150. He was able to set his goal and attain it, and that has boosted his confidence and self-esteem.”  

As a parent, Felicia says there is nothing her son needed that he did not receive at OFTC. “The culture there is welcoming and warm,” she said. “OFTC is a technical college that offers opportunities to pursue and advance in most careers within our local industries. Technical education is thought to be watered down and not always viewed with as much respect as a university or traditional college by some people. Technical diplomas, degrees, trades, and certificates are valid, and the training programs are designed to prepare students for the workforce. OFTC offers this.”  

To learn more about opportunities available at OFTC, visit the college’s website, OFTC.edu.  

OFTC offers affordable education and 130+ programs to choose from. Classes are taught in-person at local campuses and online. Fall semester classes begin August 21 and those interested in getting started at OFTC should apply online or contact the office of admissions with questions at admissions@oftc.edu


OFTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.