Reflecting on the Rail//Line Apprenticeship Experience

Feb 1, 2024

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The thing we pray for the most is that Rail//Line provides a constant source of encouragement and abundant love to everyone who walks through the door—that those who work here or come in for a coffee each morning always leave feeling acknowledged and seen.

The most crucial foundation to build is consistent presence. It means being there during training and early mornings, attending graduation ceremonies, and showing support through significant events.

When Mikayla Korf completed the apprenticeship program, we shared an incredibly special exit interview. It was especially bittersweet because Mikayla was one of the original Rail//Line apprentices with us since our opening. She’s really experienced it all throughout her time here.

Our final meeting with Mikayla was filled with pauses and tears. At one point, I asked her, “What has been the most impactful thing you will take away from your experience at Rail//Line?”

She replied, “I’ve spent so many hours sitting with the people who work here. On the days I had fights with my mom, there were hugs and shared tissues. When I graduated high school, everyone showed up to watch me walk across the stage. I have learned that the love at Rail//Line is the greatest love I’ll feel in this time of my life.”

Her response speaks to the essence of what makes Rail//Line special. Rather than focusing on business or coffee-related skills, Mikayla emphasized the community she experienced.

As more apprentices progress through the program, I hope Rail//Line continues to grow as a place of genuine love and support for people in the Billings area.

It’s hard to say goodbye when our apprentices move on to greater things, but beauty lies in knowing they feel equipped and confident as they transition to bigger and better things.


“The apprenticeship program is different from typical job environments. We have meetings once a week to talk with a mentor and set goals for ourselves. What I will take away from my experience at Rail// Line is how important it is to be warm- hearted and giving others a chance to feel loved. I’m leaving Rail//line to go to beauty school to be an esthetician. It’s going to be so hard to leave—the apprenticeship program has shown me what it’s like to have people by my side and encouraging me to ‘go for it!’ This place really is like a family.”
—Mikayla Korf

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