Sheila Smith, from Parr, has demonstrated grit and determination to realise her ambition of one day owning her own hairdressing salon. Since returning to College for the second time, she is on the path to realising her dreams.
Sheila, 29, first joined St Helens College from Broadway High School at the age of 17 to study Hairdressing but had to make the difficult decision to leave to care for her disabled son.
Twelve years later, and with her son now receiving additional support from his school, it opened up the opportunity for Sheila to return to College to realise her dreams of becoming a hairdresser.
Sheila explains her ambitions, “I’ve always had in interest in hairdressing. I love all the dramatic changes in cuts and colours and how good you can make someone feel after doing their hair. I love to be part of the reason they left feeling good. It leaves me with a real buzz!”
Despite feeling slightly daunted at the thought of returning to education, Shelia was excited and enrolled onto the level 1 Diploma in Hairdressing, a course that would put her on the path to following her dream of becoming a fully qualified hairdresser. The course provides a strong foundation for developing a broad range of hairdressing skills and knowledge.
Just two weeks into the course, Sheila was left devastated as her father passed away. However, she was determined to continue. Then, just seven weeks later, Sheila also lost her mother.
Tutors rallied to support her and offered the chance for her to defer her place. Sheila refused. She was determined to continue her studies and she credits attending College with helping to make a very tough time in her life, a little easier, providing focus during her most difficult days.
Sheila has now successfully completed the level 1 course which opened up a place for her on the level 2 course before progressing to level 3, advancing her skills and knowledge further.
Sheila’s children have been so supportive, she says, “My kids motivated me massively. I wanted to show them that even though I had them young, it didn’t stop me from being what I intended to be. Yes, it may have taken longer but I am more appreciative of the experience now than I was when I was younger. I can look at my kids and tell them with conviction now that nothing can stop them from doing what they want to do.”
Speaking about her tutors and St Helens College Sheila said, “The hairdressing tutors were amazing, they were all incredibly patient with me, they built my confidence and never doubted my ability. I can honestly say that without them, I would not have got through the hardest time of my life.”
Continuing, Sheila adds that she one day has ambitions of owning her own salon, “I have thoroughly enjoyed the Hairdressing courses I have undertaken. They are equipping me with the skills needed to one day own my own salon. Interacting with clients during my training and watching them leave happy with the service I have provided is a very rewarding experience.”
Looking forward to joining an industry she is passionate about, Sheila is hoping to expand her skills set in the near future, already looking at barbering and make-up courses.
Summarising her time at St Helens College, Sheila says, “Attending College has helped me through the grief of losing my parents. It has given me something to focus on and I’m sure that they would be very proud to see all that I have now accomplished.”
If you’re thinking of joining St Helens College, visit one of their upcoming Adult Enrolment and Information Events. They are the ideal opportunity for you to chat with tutors, find out more about courses that interest you and enrol.