At just 11 years old, this remarkable individual has achieved a professional certification in automotive detailing granted by the prestigious International Detailing Association.
In a remarkable achievement, 11-year-old Steven Thompson III from Boise has become the youngest detailer ever to receive a professional certification in automotive detailing from the renowned International Detailing Association (IDA), as announced in a press release.
During the Mobile Tech Expo held in Orlando, Florida, in February, he successfully obtained the certification. Steven Thompson III, commonly known as STEV3 among his friends, was honored for his remarkable accomplishment during the closing awards ceremony at Mobile Tech, where he garnered the attention of renowned SONAX Master Detailer Rigo Santana.
The young detailing prodigy is set to embark on a new journey in Los Angeles. Accompanied by Santana, an esteemed independent trainer for the IDA and a Master certified detailer by SONAX, STEV3 will join the prestigious New Generation of Detailers (NGDD) network. Furthermore, he will undergo testing for the IDA’s most advanced level of certification, Skills Validated (SV). This opportunity marks a significant milestone in STEV3’s career, further solidifying his place among the industry’s elite.
During the SV training, STEV3 will engage in an intensive one-on-one session with his mentor, Santana, where he will be tested on the practical application of the concepts he learned and mastered in the written test (CD) that he successfully passed a few weeks ago. This real-time assessment will put STEV3’s skills and knowledge to the test, further honing his expertise in automotive detailing.
Upon successful completion of the SV level, Santana will proceed to provide comprehensive training and certification through his NGDD program in collaboration with SONAX. This will enable STEV3 to join the esteemed SONAX Detailing team, which is set to travel to the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles at the end of this month. During this exciting opportunity, STEV3 will be involved in preparing eight iconic cars, including the renowned Ferrari Enzo Ferrari commissioned by Henry Ford.
“Do you want to be a detailer?” Steve Thompson II asked his son, who has harbored a deep love for cars ever since he was 3 years old, mesmerized by the General Lee’s aerial feats on the TV series “Dukes of Hazard.” Thompson II, a highly accomplished and certified detailer, is the proud owner of Detail Doctors, a renowned detailing business based in Boise.
“In today’s world, anyone can simply purchase some DIY equipment and chemicals, watch a few online tutorials, and consider themselves the ultimate detailer in their area,” Thompson II remarked. “That’s why I advised him that if he truly wanted to be recognized and respected, he should join the IDA and obtain the CD certification.”
Thompson shared that his son enthusiastically embraced the challenge and diligently immersed himself in studying every available resource. He even sought his mother’s assistance in creating flashcards to aid his learning. For nearly six months, he dedicated his time to studying before and after school, and even allocated some time on weekends. His hard work paid off when he successfully passed the CD certification, only missing six questions out of a hundred.
Currently, STEV3 is focused on preparing for the SV certification under Santana’s guidance, which is scheduled to take place in the following weeks to ensure his readiness for the upcoming SONAX event.
Thompson II acknowledged that the SV certification poses a greater challenge compared to the written test, speaking from personal experience. Laughing, Thompson II added:
“But even to this day, Steve is adamant that the 1969 Dodge Charger from ‘The Dukes of Hazard’ will be his first car.”
“I understand it might seem like quite an ambitious goal for an 11-year-old, but when this kid sets his mind on something, especially when it involves cars, his determination is remarkable.”