Each month South Muskoka Doppler highlights a student in the co-op programs at both Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School (BMLSS) and Gravenhurst High School (GHS).
This month’s student of the month for GHS, brought to you by Stevenson Plumbing-Electrical-HVAC is Avery Collins. Avery is apprenticing as a hairstylist at Artisan’s Edge in Gravenhurst.
What is your placement and why did you choose it?
- I’m a hairstylist at Artisan’s Edge and OYAP level 1 at GC
- Hair was a big part of my childhood and I played with hair a lot when I was younger. My mom would send my sisters and I to school with braids and I was always known for having my hair done really well. Ballet was a part of that too, I’d get excited about doing my hair up for a recital.
- It wasn’t until the pandemic that I realized doing hair could be a big part of my life. When I had the opportunity last year in grade 11 to do co-op, I decided to work at Artisan’s Edge in Gravenhurst and that’s how I knew for sure that I really wanted to be a hairstylist.
Do you know which career path you’d like to pursue in the future?
- I love everything about styling hair, especially women’s cuts, but the thing that’s been sticking out with me most, my big goal, would be to be a colour technician because I could specialize in that and it would take me to really exciting opportunities, maybe even prepping celebrities for red carpet events
- As part of my co-op in Grade 11, Jennifer at Artisan’s Edge signed me on as an apprentice through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). I’ve been with the salon for almost a year, and this semester I have been able to take my level one apprenticeship courses through Georgian College.
- It’s an amazing opportunity because the OYAP program funds my course fees at Georgian, provides my transportation to the college each week so I can attend classes on Wednesday and even provided me with a ton of tools that were all paid for by the program. It’s basically like having a full-ride scholarship, and I’m not even done high school yet!
- I start my second semester of courses at Georgian in February, and I also hope to compete in the Skills Ontario competition this May, where secondary and post-secondary students in every skilled trade in Ontario gather to show off their skills. I’m excited to compete against other hairstyling students, but also to exchange learning and make connections with people in my industry.
- My co-op hours and my job at the salon all count toward my apprenticeship hours, so between courses and completing around 3000 hours it will likely take at least three years to be licensed. I’m glad I can gain this experience locally and I’m excited to eventually allow the career to take me wherever I can go.
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