In the following narrative, WHSAD Senior, Jessica Juarez, shares her experience in the Natural Hair Styling program at Co-op Tech. For years, the partnership between WHSAD and Co-op Tech has provided our seniors with hands-on training in career paths and, thus, opportunities to make the most of their days immediately after graduation.
Look for more stories from Jessica as she highlights what other seniors are taking on in their Co-op Tech learning.
The School of Cooperative Technical Education is a program that offers students the opportunity to learn skills for a specific occupation. Co-op Tech offers classes to high school students and graduates who are 17 to 21 years old. Students are given the opportunity to take part in the Department of Education’s Work Based Learning Program (WBL), which provides job readiness skills, knowledge of basic safety OSHA procedures, and real work exposure. Some of the courses at Co-op Tech are culinary, welding, automotive, natural hair styling, barbering, carpentry, and many more.
I decided to take Natural Hair Styling to improve some of the skills I already know. In this class, I will learn to style hair, braid, do styles for special occasions, and so much more. What I like the most about my class is that the teachers teach you everything in-depth. For the last couple of weeks, we have been learning the importance of hygiene. We have to make sure our work area is very clean, especially when we have clients every Thursday and Friday. I have two teachers in my class. Both are very caring and reliable. One of them has been in the school for 20 years and believes that Co-op Tech helps students improve their working skills no matter what job they have. She also believes that every student should take a course to learn what they are capable of doing and that learning a trade doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work in that field. In this class I will be working to pass the NYS Natural Hair Styling license exam.