Brenna Stroud grew up in Washington, D.C. and spent time in South Carolina. She was an artistic kid and curious about how things worked. She loved watching her brother-in-law take apart old cars. “I’ve always liked creating things and building things.” After high school she decided to study fashion design and was accepted to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
What Brought Brenna to CCSF
As Brenna progressed through the degree, she started to have doubts. “I loved the artistic aspect of fashion design, but it just felt like something was missing. I kept thinking about cars and how much I enjoyed working with metal.” Brenna started to research automotive classes in the Bay Area and discovered CCSF.
Brenna's CCSF Experience
Brenna started by taking just one class, Intro to Automotive Mechanics, but found herself signing up for more each semester. “The frame repair class caught my attention early on. You see this messed-up, mangled piece of metal, and you think it’s a total scrap heap. But then, you put it on the frame rack and hook up some chains, and before your eyes, it just pops back into position, and it looks like a car again.” Brenna is especially interested in restoring and modifying classic cars, so the custom paint, custom metal fabrication, and the welding classes each appeal to her artistic side. “Whether you’re beating out metal, filling, or painting, you’re using that artistic eye to either recreate or create something new.” Right now, Brenna is applying everything she has learned to a personal project. “It’s a—mostly—’66 Ford Mustang. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein right now, but I’m in here all the time working on it.”
Why CCSF Was a Good Choice for Brenna
Brenna has served on the Associated Student Council as both Vice President and President of Evans Center. She wants more people to know about the college. “So many people like me are funneled into four-year schools where it feels more like you’re going to the DMV than getting an education. The teachers don’t really engage with you, and they’re put off if you ask too many questions at the end of class. Here at CCSF, it’s completely different. You not only have people that are knowledgeable but also passionate about what they do and happy to help you out.” Eventually, Brenna plans to take all the automotive classes, but she is itching to get out-of-class experience, too. “I’m starting to think about approaching a few shops, where they use old-school metal techniques and rebuild classics from the ground up.” Someday, Brenna hopes to open her own resto- mod shop, applying her new skills to reimagine classic cars.