(The Dallas Examiner) – For Tracy Nicole Harper, owner and CEO of Through Her Eyes Trucking Company LLC, life’s obstacles wouldn’t stop her spirit from achieving her goals.
“I never thought that I would be the woman that I am today,” she reflected. “I sit back, and I look back over my life and imagine all the obstacles that I went through and overcame; it is such an inspiration.”
She is a survivor of sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug abuse and overcame an ex-offender status for stealing in her past. And her behavior as a youth reflected her traumatic experiences.
Growing up, she remembered church members and families would tell their children to avoid being near her.
“People would tell other people, ‘Hey, stay away from her, she’s not a good person,’” Harper remembered. “The people in the church would tell their kids to stay away from me because I wasn’t a good person since I was known back then for causing trouble.”
“Well, I got into a couple of relationships that had left me with nothing, it was like getting cut off,” she stated. “Not having food to eat. Sleeping on my dad’s couch. Then one day, my father walked in the living room and told me to get off his couch and get up and get on the floor. ‘Because if you don’t have enough self-respect for yourself to make better relationships, then no one will respect you,’ my dad told me.”
Harper admitted she often had a habit of always picking the wrong man in her life.
“It was always a different face, but it was always the same spirit of a man that I picked,” she reflected. “I had to really sit down and evaluate myself within. So when my dad put me on the floor, I made a promise to myself that no man would ever put me on the floor. And I have been working very hard for the last 11 years to make sure that that doesn’t happen again.”
Harper said she got herself together and went back to work with her father, who was a truck driver. She said her father taught her how to properly back up an oversized truck.
“I would always oversteer when it came to backing up and he trained me on how to do it properly,” Harper said.
Harper said she also worked in the medical, fast food, janitorial and office management fields. She realized that none of those fields were her passion in life. After having a conversation with her mom one evening, her mother told Harper to give God five days of her time to pray, meditate and seek God’s direction to help her find her true calling.
On the fifth day, Harper said God asked her what she was good at doing. Harper realized that she was a good driver.
She went to truck driving school in 2012 and obtained her CDL license on Nov. 1, 2012. And in February 2013, she got her first driving job working for Rural Trash in Needville, Texas.
Two years later, a friend asked her to get her Hazmat, Tanker Endorsement & TWIC Card. Harper said her friend convinced her to get involved in that field and helped her financially as well to get started.
In March 2014, she received her first tractor trailer job hauling crude oil, with no experience, at Frontier Tank Line in Houston.
She has been going non-stop since then, driving all types of trucks that allow her to travel across the United States and worldwide.
Harper then decided to start her own trucking company and on Sept. 8, 2017, Through Her Eyes Trucking Company was born.
She said the company is named after her aunt, Mildred Allen, who raised her. Allen died Sept. 30, 2015, after battling stage 4 lung cancer.
“My aunt left me with over 100 photo albums, filled with pictures she had taken over her lifetime,” she said. “In the photos, you always notice her eyes and realize that I would be looking through her eyes every time I see the photos. So that is who my company is named after.”
With her father’s support, her vision became a reality when she got to purchase her own truck in 2015 in Abilene. She eventually paid the truck off and is now doing well financially driving hazmat and crude oil.
“I am the woman that I am today because of my aunt,” Harper said. “Both my mom and dad have also supported me and been there for me too.”
Harper has now established a scholarship program for disadvantaged women who are interested in becoming truck drivers. Her scholarship program offers three scholarships worth $4,350 to three women who have overcome obstacles and want to transform their lives as well and are interested in truck driving.
“I recognize the immense potential and strength of women who have overcome significant obstacles in their lives,” she stated. “My scholarship program aims to enable these women to pursue their dreams in the trucking industry and create a brighter future for themselves and their families.”
The deadline for the scholarship is Oct. 1 and to qualify, applicants must be female, at least 21 years old, must reside in the U.S. and have a valid driver’s license and have two letters of recommendation, along with trauma experience, no pending criminal matters and have a letter of acceptance from a credible trucking school and present a proof of enrollment. Applicants must also submit a two-page essay about their life, what they have overcome, and how they plan on paying it forward.
“God just put it in my heart to help others,” Harper said. “I told myself that I am fortunate enough and that you’re blessed enough that you can help three women, and in the future, I can help many more women.”
For more information and to apply for the scholarship, visit: https://www.hereyestrucking.com.
Harper explains why she loves being a truck driver, a field you don’t see many women in.
“It’s so many beautiful places in this world, and it’s really sad that some people would never see all the beauty that God has made in this world,” she said. “You know, I remember one time I took a load up into Virginia and I was at the bottom of this mountain. It was just a river that ran like a creek that ran through those mountains, a real narrow, very narrow road, and I just went down this road and then I just got out of the truck in the middle of the road and just got out and just thanked God for His beauty. Thank Him for His grace or the creation or the rocks, the water, it was just a beautiful moment. There are a lot of beautiful places in this world. And I’m fortunate enough to be able to see some of those places. That’s one of the many things that I enjoy.”
She has traveled to places like Peru and Jamaica.
Harper encourages women to consider the truck driving industry as a career.
“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “Just try it out. Don’t let anybody stop you. When I hear a woman say, Oh, I can’t do that. I immediately say, ‘yes you can. And I’m a living witness today. Everything that I have, I’ll still sweat, blood and tears in this fight. I know it can get difficult. But you just gotta keep going.”
The same community that put Harper down when she was young now congratulates her for her success in overcoming her past life and celebrating her new life.
“Most of them I don’t cross paths with but the ones that do, they tell me that they are so proud of me and just to keep going,” she said. I could have been in jail. Sometimes people get so involved and feel that God is dead in their life but that is not the case. He never quits on us. Some people just drift off and I’m just grateful that I was able to catch on. There ain’t no devil in hell that can destroy me.”