40 Stories for 40 Years – Profilee 35
Shiela is no stranger to working in nontraditional careers. She has worked in a variety of occupations, from farming to firefighting. Her current position as a roller operator at Lane Construction Corporation introduced her to New Ventures Maine around 15 years ago when she became a Totally Trades! presenter. Totally Trades! is a conference offered by NVME for girls exploring nontraditional careers in trades and technology. Shiela has participated as a presenter of the Heavy Equipment workshop session for 13 of those 15 years.
Her 19 years of experience as a roller operator provides a wealth of knowledge to girls who participate in her workshops. Shiela says that she “loves her job” and passing on knowledge about being a roller operator. She feels that it is important to encourage girls to try new things. Sheila advises everyone to “stick with things for a bit – you might experience a few bumps, but that’s okay.”
After discovering that NVME offers financial literacy classes, Shiela enrolled in My Money Works in 2011. To further develop and refresh her budgeting skills, she repeated the class again in 2017. Sheila shares that NVME provided her with “guidance, hope, and direction” and helped her to “put her finances into perspective and develop a spending plan.”
Shiela asserts that she is “doing a lot better financially” and is happy to have cleaned up her medical debt. As a result of setting financial goals in the class, she was also able to purchase a plow truck.
Her advice to others trying to clean up their finances is “don’t give up – if you fall, get up!” She says that her long-term relationship with NVME has “changed my life.” In return, Shiela has helped us inspire young women to explore careers without gender bias.