Some people think it takes grit to start a company of your own, and I suppose they’re right.
It takes hard work, dedication, a passion for change, and yes, even some literal blood, sweat, and tears along the way.
My whole life, I’ve had to have grit — and it shows through the level of excellence in our training, the quality of our instructors, and the success of our students each and every day.
Hi, my name’s Karla Costilla, Co-Founder and President of Masters Trucking Academy and Messiah Trucking Co. in Gardena, Ca.
Like other entrepreneurs, my journey hasn’t been a walk in the park. There have been hurdles and obstacles…things you’d expect when starting a new business.
But that’s where a lot of the similarities stop.
Born in Honduras, I immigrated to the United States with my Mom, older brother, and younger sister when I was 8. With only the income of my single, immigrant mother to depend on, my siblings and I were forced to give up our childhoods and work to make ends meet.
And not your typical after-school job at an ice cream shop.
For 5 years, my siblings and I would come home after school and sleep until it was time to go to work cleaning restaurants with Mom overnight, from 10PM- 7AM. And then, yes, straight to school.
This continued until my mother took a new job driving a truck. From that moment on, our lives changed forever, in more ways than one.
The trucking industry was good money — even back then — but it did take one thing away from us…our mom. Sure, she came home once a month to stock us up with enough food and supplies to last another 30 days, but what we truly missed was her.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a sob story — in fact, far from it.
To this day, my mother is the strongest person I know. Driving a truck helped her to provide for us so that we would never know what it was like to want for anything. Once I got old enough, my mom presented me with an opportunity — to change the industry that I’d been raised in for the better.
That’s what we set out to do in 2006 with the opening of Messiah Trucking Company. Our goal was to recruit and employ people from all walks of life who were ready to start a career, claim their second chance, or build a future for themselves with the flexibility that allowed them to be truly present in the lives of the ones they loved most.
And it worked. For a little over a decade, we employed over 100 drivers to help move shipments across the city and from coast to coast. But over the years, we began to realize that when we had open positions, we were turning people away for jobs far more often we were able to bring them on board.
The reason? Lack of foundational truck driving and safety skills. They genuinely didn’t know how to drive.
I knew it wasn’t their fault…again, it was the industry. For far too long, trucking schools shuffled students in and out faster than the ink could dry on their Class A licenses. The result was poor training, absence of on-the-road experience, and a dangerous disregard for safety standards.
I couldn’t hire these drivers…but I could give them a second chance to learn everything they needed to know, not just survive in the industry, but to THRIVE as drivers.
In 2017, we opened Masters Trucking Academy to provide the training that students wanted, needed, and deserved before beginning their careers on the road. With newer equipment than our competitors use, a dedicated team of instructors — and that GRIT we keep talking about — we knew it was time to set the bar higher for trucking schools around the country.
And that’s exactly what we’re doing to this day at Masters Trucking Academy.
Built on the values of integrity, service, growth, respect, and teamwork, Masters gives trucking students every opportunity to begin a career that sets them up for financial success while providing the flexibility they need to be there in the moments that matter most for their families.
With over 300 Masters-trained students on the road to date, I’m proud of the difficult journey that’s led me to open the doors for others along the way.
We’re not just family-oriented, we ARE a family of first, second, and third generation drivers who know the open road better than anyone around.
Our mission is to help you build a brighter tomorrow…your job is to call us to get started today.