Touring the Academy

Kyle Richardson#Excellence, Hair, Springfield, Student Spotlight

My job in the marketing and communications department of the Academy of Hair Design often gives me an, admittedly small, window into the lives of our students. I see finished projects, immaculately finished and framed and posed photographs of happy clients. I see the middle stages, the in-between phase where they are still working to achieve their desired end. Rarely do I see the beginnings, the raw material that walks through the door waiting to be transformed in one of the salon chairs. Then, I started doing tours at the Academy of Hair Design.

I was initially nervous about entering recruiting work for the Academy of Hair Design. How was I, a traditionally educated intern with no background in hair, esthetics, or manicuring, supposed to advise new students on how to begin this new career? How would I help them transform into the amazing artists which they were always meant to be? 

When I began assisting with tours, for the first time I saw real beginnings. 

Every day, I see people of all ages walk through these doors and fall in love with this school in much the same way I have. People with their whole lives ahead of them, searching for an outlet for all their boundless potential, walk through these doors and become inspired and seized by a new purpose in life. They find their calling on the salon floors. 

I’ve met young mothers looking to start their new career to support themselves and their children doing what they love. I’ve met people who put their lives on hold to chase after their dreams because they knew they were meant to serve people in this industry. I’ve seen best friends walk through the doors to get a glimpse at the school they will be attending together before they open a salon together. This school is a place where dreams are crafted and brought to life, where novices transform into experts. The change we see every day in these students is nothing short of magical. 

Here’s a fact I never would have guessed before I started working here: the average age of our new students is their mid thirties. I had assumed, as I know many people will, that the prime demographic of our school was young women and men fresh out of high school looking to launch their first real career as quickly as possible. And those students certainly do exist, we get many young people straight out of high school who seem to already know what they were born to do. However, more than a fair share of our students are adults in their mid thirties or older. People who have already been through one career or more, who may already have a traditional degree, who chose later in life to boldly forge another path for themselves. 

They made one of the bravest choices you can make in a society that forces us to choose so early what we want to be. They chose to change their minds and dare to do something different with their lives. We hear stories of people who chose us because it’s a quick program where they can start their new career in less than a year. But more often and more importantly, we hear stories of people who have chosen to follow their passion to wherever it leads them, even if it’s away from the life they thought they wanted. That sort of radical change, the bold choice to invest in yourself, is a very rare thing. But I, my colleagues, and the students who call this school home, are lucky enough to witness transformation every single day. 

Have you reached the point where you don’t know what to do next? Are you wondering where to go from where you are? Can you see yourself pursuing this dream? I urge you, book a tour with us. There’s no expectations or cost, just give yourself the chance to experience our school for yourself. You never know where it may take you, or who you may become.

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