by Stu Rhodes –
How often does an apprentice finish their technical training, and finish logging their work-based hours before their 18th birthday? Well, I don’t know the actual stats on this, but I can assure you: it rarely happens! No big deal for Julia Scheuer though. Julia graduated from Claremont Secondary last June, and earlier this month she logged the last few hours required to complete her Hairstylist apprenticeship. She has been working at Copa Hair Studio and Day Spa on a continuing part-time basis since grade 10. She will write her Red Seal exam in the coming weeks!
Shelley Scheuer, Julia’s mom, told me Julia has had a fascination with hair since she was a young girl visiting her grandmother’s salon. “Cutting and styling hair was interesting and fun for her.” Julia learned about the Saanich teaching salon, located at the Individual Learning Centre, in grade nine when she inquired about eligibility and the application process. While the program is generally reserved for students in grade 11 or 12, Julia applied, and made a strong case for herself, to start the program in 10th grade. The program begins in February of each year and as soon as Julia submitted her application she started volunteering at Copa to get a sense of what it would be like to actually work in a salon setting. Work experience placements like these give students an excellent opportunity to sample the nature of the work as well as the culture of the work place.
“It didn’t take long for Julia to transition from unpaid work to paid work,” said salon owner Brandy Pearson. She went on to say: “For a young person, Julia came with an incredible amount of maturity and has always demonstrated a very professional approach to her work here at Copa.” It didn’t take long for Julia to become indentured as a youth apprentice either, which is why she has already logged so many hours.
Following successful completion of the Hairstylist program at Studio 63, Julia transitioned back to Claremont to finish a rigorous academic course load while still maintaining her part time job at Copa. She was nominated valedictorian by her peers at the Individual Learning Centre and received a BC Achievement Scholarship from the Ministry of Education for her stellar scholastic performance.
“I always loved hair, and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to leave school with a career instead of just a graduation certificate,” said Julia. “Not only do I have a really cool job at Copa, where I still get to learn from the senior staff, but my parents helped me convert an old bedroom at our house into a home-based salon where I’m able to service friends and family. So now my trade training is helping me learn how to run a small business too.”
Julia is currently attending Camosun College as a full-time student in their university transfer program while working part time at Copa. She continues to take on new challenges and encourages other students to do the same. “It wasn’t easy leaving my home school of Claremont to attend Studio 63. It was a lot of hard work, but so worth it! I graduated from high school with a trade and a career, and I was still able to go directly to college or university.” Who says you can’t do it all?
Contact Stu Rhodes at 250-415-9211 for more information on how to get involved as a student apprentice, or as an employer sponsor in this, or any other career program in Saanich School District.
View the promotional YouTube video, “Jump Start Your Career” at http://www.youtube.com/user/saanichcareers.
Photo by Nunn Other Photography.