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Allison Wares has big dreams of owning her own salon – and Jamestown Business College has stepped in to help make that happen.
Wares has been a Chautauqua Striders student since fifth grade and has been making significant strides in her academic career over the past several years. She has been studying with tutors at the Jamestown On-Track tutoring program, and her academic work garnered the attention of her school counselor who nominated her for a two-year scholarship to the local business college. Wares was recently awarded the scholarship which will allow her to attend tuition free. The Cassadaga high school senior is delighted by the development and plans to attend JBC to earn a business degree to further her cosmetology career.
“I’ve been kind of doing it since I was little because I remember when I was younger, I always liked to comb my dad’s hair, and I would even take scissors and cut my hair sometimes,” Wares said with a laugh. “I just like doing hair and nails, so I decided that’s what I want to do.”
Wares’ mother, Brenda, said initially Wares will study cosmetology, but will also strive to learn the business aspect so she can own her own salon. Currently, Wares attends Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES for cosmetology where she will earn her license.
Wares said Striders has helped her reach her academic goals over the years.
“They helped me to learn things better,” she said. “Then, I just got better and better at things, and I was getting good grades and I was passing everything. Now it just seems like everything is so much easier. If it’s helped me, it can help a lot of other people. In 10th grade, everything kind of clicked for me – everything felt like I was back in kindergarten – everything is easy!”
Suzette Iacuzzo, Chautauqua Striders On-Track academic coordinator, said Wares’ educational growth over the years has been encouraging to witness and be a part of.
“I am so proud of having the privilege to witness Allison grow into the young lady she is today,” Iacuzzo said. “To watch her overcome her struggles with tough school curriculum over the years and handle those challenges without getting frustrated shows me she can overcome anything life may give her. I wish nothing but the best and brightest future for her.”
Brenda said she has also seen a change in her daughter.
“I think the program has helped her to be more confident than she was when she first started,” Brenda said. “Another thing for parents to know is when your kids first start coming here, don’t expect miracles right at the beginning – it’s taken a long time for her to get from point A to point B. It takes time, but it works. They have good tutors here, and they have ones that have their subjects, so if that’s where your student needs the help, that’s where it’s targeted. If you start your child, be consistent and have them come every year, and they will build their skills. Also, it takes some stress off the parents because it’s like how can I explain this without confusing her? It’s a completely different way of learning – but the tutors know what they’re doing.”
After college, Wares said she will most likely stay in the area and work in salons locally. Eventually, she plans to open her own shop and looks forward to offering her cosmetology skills to the public.
Chautauqua Striders provides tutoring, mentoring, outreach, and athletic programs to more than 1,500 Chautauqua County youth annually. Chautauqua Striders aims to help youth graduate high school inspired with the knowledge, skill, and confidence required for successful college and career experiences. For more information on the organization, visit www.chqstriders.org or follow Chautauqua Striders on Facebook.