Van Tech hairdressing program a stylish career choice for students

Van Tech students get a stylish head start.
Van Tech students get a stylish head start.

On Thursday, January 24, eight Van Tech students piled into a school bus in the rainy winter morning for a trip south to Richmond to practice cutting and styling hair.

Enrolled in Van Tech’s unique Hairdressing ACE IT program, the students were joining Richmond peers to prepare with their instructors for the upcoming BC Skills and ABA Hair Competitions.

For the next eight hours, the students learned a wide-range of new techniques and got a chance to practice their skills on some dummy heads under the watchful eyes of Van Tech teacher Malani de Leon.

De Leon says hairdressing is an incredibly versatile career choice. She should know. She cut her way through university and her teaching degree. Though the program has been running for decades, De Leon has been involved for only the past two years. Since then, she’s already seen her students succeed. Of the eight who graduated last year, every single one has a job in the industry.

Johnson Cho“I love working with the kids and allowing them to get hands on practical experience that they can use to transition from school to the working world,” says De Leon.

The practicality of the program is one of the biggest draws for Johnson Cho, a Grade 12 at Van Tech.

“Personally I want to specialize in hair cutting. I like how really good hair stylists can be high-tier and can look intimidating,” says Cho. “I want to be that kind of intimidating hair dresser.”

Cho was interested in hair dressing before he enrolled in the Van Tech program. He took night classes and taught himself the basics with the internet. But he says the beauty of the Van Tech program is not only does he get 240 hours of work experience, but he gets to learn his craft on the government’s dime.

To learn more about Van Tech’s hairdressing program, click here.

More in Education

A young Iranian helps Syrian refugees adjust to Canada

A young Iranian, himself, new to Canada reaches out to help Syrian refugees settle here. But with the war in Syria, tensions between Iranians and Syrians are rising. How will he succeed?
Glynnis Kirchmeier filed a human rights complaints against UBC

UBC alumna files human rights complaint over response to sex assault reports

VANCOUVER — A former University of British Columbia student has filed a human rights complaint alleging the school discriminated against her and other complainants in its handling of sexual assault...
Arvind Gupta, former president of UBC

UBC faculty vote no confidence in board over handling of president's resignation

VANCOUVER — The University of British Columbia's faculty association has passed a resolution of non-confidence in the institution's board of governors amid ongoing turmoil prompted by the abrupt...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.