Straight Talk with the Mechanics
Everyday we celebrate Jamaica, but the students and staff at Boy’s Town Infant and Primary School got a real treat one Friday. The Charles Hyatt Foundation’s Straight Talk series surprised the school with 3 people who have a passion for cars. The special guests for the Mechanic edition of the series were Denniston Graham, Lisa Green and Corey Walters.
The students were not ready for the “Rooster”, which is a Red Diahatsu Mira driven by Denniston Graham. Graham is a motorsports enthusiast and a very active competitor. He competes in circuit racing in the Super Street Class as well as in Drag Racing as a driver; Denniston is also a co-driver/ navigator in the wild world of Rally.
Different from Denniston, the students were surprised to find out that the slim built tiny framed soft spoken young lady introduced to them was a world class mechanic. Lisa Green explained to the assembly that she was introduced to cars by her father at an early age and fell in love instantly. Now, she is living her dream as a mechanic who works on several makes of motor vehicles. Lisa was formally trained at the Jamaican-German Automotive School more commonly known as JAGAS. She is currently employed at ATL Automotive Ltd as one of their lead mechanics. Lisa expressed how fulfilling and happy working with cars has makes her. She encouraged the girls to never be afraid to step outside the box and enter a traditionally male dominated field.
Corey “Taz” Walters, the founder of Tazmanian Motorsports, is a mechanical engineer, race car fabricator, and competitive Race car driver. Whilst Corey was formally trained at Jamaican-German Automotive School, he told the students his introduction the world of cars happened before he was 10 years old. He explained that he also grew up around cars and as a result, he had built his first Chevy v8 truck engine at the age of 15. Corey gleamed with pride when he exclaimed that, that first engine build, is still functional today. However, Corey expressed that whilst he can do all things mechanical, and has the capacity to repair or work on anything with an engine, his specialty is fabrication. All the guests where pleasantly surprised when Uncle Charles challenged the Grade 6 class on what the word Fabrication meant. One student, Shawn Simpson, not wanting to take chances retorted “could you please use it in a sentence”. After ‘fabrication’ was used in a sentence, Shawn immediately explained what it meant. We noticed that he also listened to every word, on the edge of his chair for the entire presentation. He answered car questions and absorbed as much knowledge as he could from the experience. We eventually found out that Shawn’s dream was to become a mechanic.
The class was further treated as mechanics Denniston and Corey gave the students a ride in the Rooster and Shawn got the chance to experience car handling tricks such as ‘donuts’. It was Shawn’s first time being in a race car. The children were all smiles and beaming with pride with their roaring surprise. They learned many different things and were challenged by the presenters to apply themselves and to never be afraid to push boundaries. They were also instructed to stand outside the box, as each of them are charting their own way in different aspects of the automotive world, regardless of the obstacles and or challenges before them.