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Seales works toward dreams of own shop

Gabby Norman, Staff Writer

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Bobby Seales already knows what he wants to do with his future. The senior dreams of one day opening his own body shop. Until then, he is a practicum student in auto collision. During his 6th and 7th period classes, he goes to work at Ken’s Complete Car Care. Seales’ job wasn’t just handed to him; however.

“He hunted nonstop,” auto collision teacher Jeff Wilson said. “He literally would call every day, filling out the applications. He worked at it and worked at it and worked at it. I’m not talking for a week or two; I’m talking about months, and he finally got the job.”

The auto collision field isn’t just about fixing cars. There’s a certain set of skills and determination required.

“It shows you what companies do when a car wrecks, and what will happen if you get into a wreck, what to replace, what to fix and what doesn’t need to be fixed,” Seales said.

Wilson teaches his students automotive basics, which is general knowledge of all automotives. He then moves on to honing their skills. Refinishing is also a big aspect of the class, with many students working on their painting skills. Seales picked everything up fairly quickly with the exception of refinishing.

Seales “improved a hundred times fold. He went from zero knowledge to a lot of knowledge,” Wilson said. “He was really challenged with the refinishing aspect of it, was having trouble getting the actual processes down. But after practice and many, many mistakes, he finally got it.”

Wilson can’t just give normal grades on these projects.

“He grades our safety when working, and when we are learning how to paint, how we paint it, and how it looks. If we messed up and had to start over, he grades that,” Seales said.

Seales is graduating this year with aspirations of opening his own body shop. He wants to name it something funny like Bobbylicious. His favorite memories from high school so far are of his days in the shop with his friends.

“In groups when painting, we’ll have fun and work at the same time instead of just working,” Seales said. “I like it when we just talk and have fun. I like being hands-on because it keeps me motivated.”

Seales is inspired by his classmates’ work, especially that of Destiny Armendariz.

“Destiny inspired me with her painting, her skill at it,” Seales said. “She’ll do any cool detail in it. She’ll do this one where it’ll look like rock… she can do flames that look real.”

Wilson has great hopes for Seales in the future, knowing that his drive and respect could help him achieve his dreams.

“Students like him are the reason I chose to be a teacher,” Wilson said. “He has a lot of respect for his elders, for his teachers and for a lot of us. I hope that he’ll one day fulfill his dream of owning his own shop and being his own boss. He deserves every opportunity to achieve his goals. He’s going to be an outstanding member of society and a good man.”

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