When Deon Melvin attended the Truck Driver Training School at Sampson Community College, he learned all he could to start a career he knew would be lucrative. For Melvin, it was an unfortunate period of unemployment that ultimately led to a career that has taken him up and down the East Coast. Now, he’s continued driving for over 10 years.
A Hobbton High School graduate, Melvin works for P&S Transportation out of Birmingham, Alabama. On a recent haul through Dunn, North Carolina, Melvin saw big rigs from the SCC Truck Driving Program at a Walmart. He remembered his time in the program and began researching a bit. He was inspired to put together a GoFundMe and support one student in the program through a scholarship. One student quickly became five.
“I realized that due to the low cost of this program, I could raise enough money to provide a scholarship for a student. I only planned to support one student, but now I can support five,” Melvin shared.
Melvin’s regional haul takes him from New York to Florida, with time home in Sampson County in between. He’s grown familiar with his route, making friends along the way, and developing a routine.
“I used to do a lot of sightseeing when I was on the road, but now I do what I need to do and head back home,” Melvin shared. “I have a lot of friends that I’ve met over the years, so I always see them at truck stops and other places along the way.”
Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement & Executive Director of the Foundation, says Melvin’s donation is evidence of his success in the industry, but also a testament to the program’s impact.
“It is a ringing endorsement of the Sampson Community College Truck Driving Program to have a former student give back in this way,” Turlington commented. “Deon is a great example of success in the Transportation Industry, and his generosity shows his dedication to motivating others to pursue careers in this industry that is critical to our local, regional, state, and national economies.”
Kimberley Daigle, Vice President of Human Resources and Recruiting at P&S Transportation, says Melvin’s excellence in his industry was recognizable from the moment he began at the company.
“Since coming on board at P&S, Deon Melvin has exceeded expectations. His drive, professionalism, and commitment to safety put Deon on a level with industry veterans. We have seen firsthand his willingness to help fellow drivers succeed, both at our company and in the flatbed industry. It was no surprise to us when we heard Deon was leveraging his network of fellow drivers to help assist new talent coming into the industry,” Daigle stated.
Melvin runs a Youtube channel, and it was there that he was able to generate support for his GoFundMe and there that he created the name for the award, Flatbed Family Scholarship. Melvin awarded the scholarships at the most recent Truck Driver Training graduation ceremonies. After, his employer chose to match his donation.
“We have been inspired by Deon and his group’s willingness not only to help get more drivers on the road but to support the best of the best who may not otherwise have access to training,” Daigle continued. “We are grateful for Sampson Community College’s commitment to excellence in training and fostering relationships among their alumni network and current students. It is our honor to match the monetary commitment made by Deon and the Flatbed Family because we know that outstanding performers inspiring greatness in others is invaluable.”
This year’s recipients of the Flatbed Family Scholarship were Alexis Garcia, Grayson Stroud, and Sheldon Morrison. Two more scholarships were awarded to Anthony Walker and Michale Marable at the most recent graduation on Thursday, September 9. Melvin says he plans to continue with the scholarship moving forward. For more information about establishing a scholarship with Sampson Community College, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/foundation or email Lisa Turlington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.