A new type of Driving School for our Southern California communities.
We teach with care.
It's a motto that for me was 36 years in the making.
I left my home country of Iran and my family at the age of 14 to live and learn in West Germany.
There were many occasions that I just wanted to give up and go back to my country and family, but it was a teacher back then who gave me the confidence and courage to stay on course. He told the whole 8th grade class that what I was going through is hard and not everyone could do it. Those words carried me for 6 years and I graduated from Gymnasium (German Higher Education High School) in 1992. I learned German like a native, and learned English and French too.
It was also in 1992 that I took my first driving lesson in Germany. Getting a license in Germany and most of the Europe is a huge deal. The cost back then was approximately $3000 and the curriculum was in depth and taken seriously. Behind the wheel training included night driving with an instructor, highway driving, Autobahn driving (no speed limit!) and instructions during rain. One of my goals is to bring that type of European experience to Southern California.
Fast forward 3 decades, a clothing company, a UCLA degree, an aircraft mechanic license and 12 years in Aerospace (Lockheed, Boeing, SpaceX) later brought me here to finally answer my calling.
There were 2 significant events that impacted my decision to start a driving school:
The first one was in 2007. I was attending classes at West Los Angeles College to be an aircraft mechanic when a father of one of the students walked in. Everyone in the classroom knew it wasn't good news. Our classmate, a 19-year-old beautiful young man had passed away in a motorcycle accident. It's a look on his father's face that I wish not to ever see again. I decided back then if I can and have the means one day, I will do everything so no parents would ever go through that pain.
The second event was in 2016 when I was in hospital in Charleston SC during my employment at Boeing.
I became sick with a liver issue and it was a nurse who saved my life. She genuinely cared about me which changed the trajectory of my life.
And that is my goal with this driving school. I will implement 4 things throughout my school, staff and instructors;
One: Teach with care. We imagine every student is our son or daughter and teach with the same amount of care. We genuinely care about the well-being, comfort, and safety of our students.
Two: We will treat every employee with respect, provide livable wages, and think of them as our family.
Three: I will implement the same principles that makes flying the safest mode of transportation. I will use my experience in Aerospace and Europe to train students to have an accident-free life.
Four: Professionalism. I remember vividly how seriously my instructors in Germany were taking their job as an instructor. They had the same level of respect as a university professor or a policeman and were very respected in the community. I hope to foster such environment for my teachers and students.
Thank you for choosing The Hills Driving School for your driving education needs.
Have fun driving and be safe!
Kamran Rafizadeh-Ford- The Hills Driving School LLC. Founder