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September 17, 2019

MeloTel CEO John Meloche Warms Hearts of Aspiring Mechanics With Dune Buggy Project

There is never a bad time to exhibit an act of kindness and extend opportunities. Last week, MeloTel’s Founder and CEO, John Meloche got bitten by the kindness bug during an online discussion with one of his Facebook groups.

His family dune buggy had recently been vandalized during an attempted theft. Upon hearing this, one of the members of a mutual Facebook group, Vince Carnovale pointed out that he heads up a program at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario. The program offers Vince’s mechanic shop students opportunities to learn the ins and outs of various vehicles and machinery and teaches them how to make repairs and upgrades.

A light bulb began to glow above Vince’s head.

“Why not let my mechanic shop students to fix it?” he asked. That way, his students would be given the opportunity to take the next two semesters to work and tinker with the vehicle as they wished. Vince was only too happy to be provided with such an opportunity for his talented young students. He spoke very highly of the kids in his class.

“This semester, I have a dual credit Grade 11 class with some very strong students,” Vince informed John, “Next semester, I have a Grade 12 class. Four of my students placed Top 5 in a skills competition and one student won a gold medal in the Canada Outdoor power equipment skills competition. You can Google it. It’s all over the internet!”

John took Vince up on his challenge.

This past June, DurhamRegion.com covered the story of Andrew Oliver, Vince’s Grade 11 student who won gold medals at both Skills Ontario and Skills Canada. Described as “a national competition that brings the best skilled trades students together to compete,” the latter event found 16 year-old Andrew to be in a class of his own in the “outdoor power and recreational equipment” category.

“He is the only student from Durham to win gold at the national event,” details the article, “Oliver has been interested in fixing things since he was a toddler helping in his grandfather’s workshop. By the time he was 12, he was making repairs solo, fixing broken weed eaters and leaf blowers…At the Skills Canada National Competition…Oliver faced tests like inspecting a lawn mower and replacing parts, and diagnosing and fixing a dirt bike that wouldn’t start — all on a time limit.”

John was only too happy to meet Vince’s students.

“I’ve never seen so many kids so excited to work on something in my life,” he exclaimed, noting that we has proud to be able to offer the young talents the opportunity to earn their course credits by working on his dune buggy. John has also agreed to pay for and provide all of the necessary parts to get his prized vehicle repaired. He’s also agreed to make sure they all get a ride in the spring. We’ll keep you updated on the progress!

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