Blazer Stories

Moving to the Future

Most of us can only imagine what it would be like to work in a prison. Mark Sanders had been working as a corrections officer for over five years when he noticed, “It got to where I was very moody and an angry person because of what I dealt with daily.”

Mark switched jobs and while working at Bear Creek Warehouse in Hannibal, Missouri, a new opportunity arose. He grew up on a farm near New London – and had been around semis all his life – but never had his license. Getting to know Mark and witnessing his strong work ethic, Jack Sharkey recommended Mark for Sharkey Transportation’s Truck Driver Scholarship Program through John Wood Community College.

Mark was the first student to receive Sharkey’s scholarship, and completed the TDT program in 2017. He is grateful to say, “The instructors were knowledgeable and really helpful. It’s a good program. If you’ve never been around the industry, if you have no idea what driving restrictions are and what your hours will be, it gives you a good baseline and good information to help you get out there and get a career.”

Mark has worked for Sharky for five years and currently works in the crane truck division. “It’s good to be able to pass on what I’ve learned to people.” Looking back on his job as a prison guard, Mark says, “In doing this, I’m kind of my own boss. I get out there, do my thing, and set my schedule. It’s a lot more relaxing!”

As a family man, he is pleased to add, “It gave me a foot in the door to something that I am always going to have a career in. before I went to John Wood, I was struggling paycheck to paycheck. Since I’ve been driving, I’ve been able to buy a bigger house for the family and provide better.”