William Sanders, 23, said he loved cars from a very young age and repaired vehicles as a hobby before enrolling at San Juan College in Farmington, NM. In 2017, he graduated from the technical school’s Associate Paint and Autobody program.
“I picked San Juan College not only because it was the closest program to Albuquerque that offered the training I wanted, but also one of the instructors is a renowned airbrush artist,” he explained. “Airbrushing is something that piques my interest and that I am truly passionate about. Every time you pick up a gun or an airbrush it’s an art to do it correctly.”
Sanders said being in a class led by airbrush instructor Jared Blood was a privilege, and he learned something valuable every day.
“Mr. Blood is the most knowledgeable person I’ve ever met in the industry,” he added. “He really taught me how to be the man I am today and to take the most pride in my skill every time it’s required.”
Blood was the instructor who recommended Sanders for the Autobody News "Techs of Tomorrow" column.
“William was always a dedicated student,” Blood said. “He would come in after class just to practice his trade and try to pick up any additional skills he could. As an educator, you naturally levitate to this kind of behavior and try to encourage as much engagement in this manner as possible.”
Blood added he tells students, “You get out of this program what you put into it,” and Sanders put a lot into it.
“You know a student has great potential when their frequent questions keep you on your toes as an instructor,” he said. “Aside from that, I believe the one true measure of a student’s future success is their ability to integrate analytical thought with learned skills and execute tasks to create a tangible product, and William was very good at this.”
Sanders said his favorite project while attending technical college was doing a complete restoration of a ‘67 Camaro.
“This project taught me a lot and allowed me to hone my skills,” he said. “It was a pleasure to work on such a classic car!”
Sanders said his goal has always been to open his own company and work for himself.
“I now own a paint and auto body shop in Albuquerque,” he added.
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