Everyone remembers sitting in their tiny wooden elementary school desks as the teacher tried her best to hold her students’ attention, if only for minutes at a time. The age-old question would always come up: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For some, it’s a simple one, and they’d belt out an enthusiastic “fireman!” or “doctor!” Some childhood dreams come about from careful planning, even dedication. Others do not. For some, that classic question isn’t quite so simple. Over the years, outside influences or perhaps a change of heart might steer one down a road that’s void of painstaking planning and all-out effort in the classroom. Matt Pratt of Baltimore, Maryland, is a guy who seemed to lose all focus when behind the tiny wooden desk, and during the seemingly endless days of high school, ran into his fair share of scholastic dilemmas. “I was having trouble in school and basically failing some of my boring classes. So I decided to try learning something in the auto body field. Turns out I had a knack for painting,” he says. More than just a subtle ability, Matt showed promise immediately, especially in the paint booth. After some dedication and hard work, he was slated to do battle in the annual Skills USA auto body competition. His first experience with the Skills organization proved successful, as he walked away carrying First Place awards for both regional and state divisions. Advancing even further in the series, with more than 70 competitors nipping at his heels during the national level competition, Matt was able to secure a Sixth Place finish and cement himself as one of the nation’s best. His success under pressure soon led to the full-time position he now holds as one of O’Donnell Honda’s youngest painters to date...Pick up a copy of the February/March, 2009 issue of Honda Tuning for more.