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Geraldine Keegan first glimpsed her daughter’s interest in hair styling when Jaclyn cut her older sister’s hair. At the time, Jaclyn was five.
Today, Geraldine witnessed just how far her daughter’s skills have progressed. Jaclyn, a senior at Brewster High School, is now finishing her second year in the Cosmetology program at the Tech Center at and she invited her mother to be her guest at the Cosmo Spring Event.
Now in its fourth year, the event showcases the skills students have learned during the two-year program and honors guests who have made a major impact on the students. Guests were treated to a morning of pampering including haircut, style and manicure and pedicure, followed by a beautiful reception and brunch.
At the brunch, students shared essays with their invited guests, explaining why they were chosen.
"This is a celebratory event and a collaborative effort for all the cosmetology teachers,” Gilman said.
By the end of the school year, these second-year students will have completed the 1,000 practical hours needed to sit for the New York State Exam to become Certified Cosmetologists.
Abby Gehan, a Cosmetology teacher at BOCES, said most of the students will apply for certification, and about half will go directly to work for a salon.
The other half will attend college, but will have gained a highly marketable set of skills that can lead to an excellent part-time job while attending school.
Finding a job in the industry will be easier for some students than for others. Peekskill High School senior Quiana Holmes won’t have to look far -- her family owns a salon. Chiffon Hair Technique in Peekskill was opened by Quiana’s grandmother in 1979 and is now run by her mother, Chiffon Wright.
“Quiana has learned a lot in the program,” Chiffon said, adding that she was so honored by the invite she closed her salon for the day so she could attend. “She has excelled at working with different textures of hair and has gained experience in working with all varieties of hair. She’s also mastered coloring, and has developed great bonds with her teachers.”
Terri Coletti, mother of Mahopac High School senior Nicole Coletti, said BOCES has helped her daughter discover what she enjoys doing, while Nicole added that she had learned the invaluable skill of working with others.
For Carmel High School senior Carolina Quezada, the Cosmetology program opened her eyes to another potential career path.
“I found that I like helping people,” Carolina said, as she styled her mother Libia’s hair. “It’s given me a better look at how important it is to treat people well.” As a result, Carolina plans to study social services in college in addition to getting her cosmetology license.
As for Jaclyn Keegan, she has big plans to continue the career she started at age five.
“I plan to attend Manhattanville College and study business,” she said. “I want to know both sides of it because I hope to have my own business someday.”