From Student to Instructor, OFTC Grad Sharoko Farley Trains Next Generation of Commercial Truck Drivers

OFTC – The trucking roots run deep for Sharoko Farley. Growing up with a long line of truckers in his family, it’s no surprise that when it came time to choose a career, Farley decided to obtain his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and hit the road. 

“I spent my summer breaks traveling from state to state with different family members and I saw the lifestyle they were able to provide for themselves,” Farley said. “I found trucking to be fun, exciting, and rewarding.” 

At the time, Farley had no way to know the path he’d chosen would take him down a troubled road. But ultimately, trucking would be his saving grace.  

The Road to Trucking 

At 18 years old, Farley enrolled in the Commercial Truck Driving (CTD) program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC). He completed his education and immediately started his own career as a commercial driver.  

The next few years were filled with poor decisions for Farley – failed drug tests, revoked licenses, and a car accident that nearly ended his life.  

“I had a man ask me a question as I was lying in a hospital bed being told I would never walk again,” Farley shared. “He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ That man was asking me what my purpose for living was. Those words have stuck with me and changed my life.”  

Farley recovered from his injuries a different man – full of life and purpose. He was ready to return to what he knew – trucking.  

He re-enrolled in OFTC’s CTD program to upskill and refresh his knowledge and met instructors who planted seeds that would lead Farley down a new path.  

“I met some compassionate and loving instructors who helped me see the value in myself,” Farley said. “Those instructors told me I could be a business owner if I desired to, and they spoke words of truth, wisdom, and kindness that resonated with my soul.”  

A New Path 

A year later, Farley opened S&A Express, LLC. and ran a successful trucking business for years before shifting his expertise down a new path.  

“While on the road I saw many major accidents and fatalities,” Farley said. “I often wondered if the reason for the accident was distracted drivers or lack of teaching. I thought if I could get into the technical college system and teach someone what had been taught to me, if I could teach someone how to be a defensive driver, then maybe I could save someone’s life.” 

So, after 20 years of service in the industry, Farley took an instructor position at Central Georgia Technical College.  

“After months of consideration and thinking back on the accidents I had seen on the road, I realized knowledge is power and to share with others what has been taught to me could be rewarding.”  

Teaching With Purpose 

“My career as a commercial truck driver has been a roller coaster ride,” Farley added, “but the phrase ‘all things work together for good’ is a truth I live by. God has turned my mess into a message.”  

And Farley hopes to share that message of redemption and hope with his students as he teaches them to become professional drivers.  

He believes the responsibility to his students goes beyond just teaching them the ropes of the road.  

“My role as an instructor is to help students develop work ethics by changing the way they view life,” he said. “I help them realize it’s not about what they have done or where they are in life. The main thing is to stay focused on where they want to be while helping them obtain the proper tools needed to be successful on the job.”  

Making A Difference 

Looking back on his roller coaster of a ride, Farley believes he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be – making a difference in the lives of future truck drivers, just like his instructors did for him.  

“As a student, technical education changed my life by building my awareness to a safety sensitive environment within the profession I chose,” Farley shared.  

“I was not just taught the basics and thrown into the workforce,” he said. “I was taught that professional ethics are important for building a healthy work culture.”  

Now, as he passes down the knowledge and skills he’s gained from 27 years as an in-field professional, Farley hopes to be that one instructor who really makes a difference in both the lives and careers of his students.  

“At the end of every day I tell my students, I hope I’ve not only shown you something to help you get this far but that I’ve said something you can take with you for the rest of your life.”  

After a nomination by his Central Georgia Technical College peers, Farley was recently named the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) 2024 Rick Perkins Award (RPA) Winner for Excellence in Technical Instruction.  

The RPA highlights excellence in technical instruction and recognizes the most outstanding instructors at the 22 TCSG colleges. As the 2024 Rick Perkins Award winner, Farley will make public appearances as a representative for technical education during the next year, including meeting with the Governor and addressing the Georgia General Assembly. 

For more info on OFTC, the CTD Program, or any of the other 130+ programs available, visit the college’s website,