AUSTIN (KXAN) — Cherie Cheramie made history Friday. She graduated Austin Energy’s climbing school, becoming the first woman to ever do so.

Climbing school is a three-week training program and serves as the official start of a four-year apprenticeship. Cheramiewas one of nearly a dozen other trainees who graduated Friday.

“You know, honestly it is a lot of hard work, you do have to be confident in yourself to not only keep up with the men, but just keep up in general with your own progress, you have to trust the progress,” Cheramie said. “You do have to be strong, you do have to take care of yourself, but don’t be intimidated.”

Trainees celebrated graduation by climbing a 70-foot “confidence pole” to culminate their training, Austin Energy said.

After passing climbing school, the apprentices will be assigned to a crew and continue their training on the job for about four years before becoming lineworkers. It’s a combination of formal classroom and field training.