Elizabeth Lemieux: I Graduated From Genesis Career College, Twice

My name is Elizabeth Lemieux and I am a graduate of Genesis Career College, twice. At 38 years of age, I found myself going through a very traumatic divorce. I had no formal training or education, just a high school diploma. Over the course of my life, I had repeatedly looked into cosmetology programs, yet my fear of not being able to succeed and my ex-husband’s unwillingness to incur student loans prevented me from ever pursuing my dream.

On March 4, 2010, I signed my preliminary paperwork for admittance to GCC. The facility was beautiful and the staff welcoming. I delayed my start until August in hopes that my focus would be on school, not on my children being home alone. In the 5 months leading up to my start, I grappled with my decision, wondering if it was the right one. On several occasions I thought about not starting. It was when a friend sang, “Beauty School Drop-Out,” that decision was made. I am not a quitter. I started the next Tuesday: August 17, 2010. My life has never been the same.

I made it through the program with Academic Excellence and a Student of the Month achievement. A local salon courted me after seeing a cut and color that I did on the salon floor, so I was excited about the future and my place as a cosmetologist. On August 17, 2011, I clocked out for the last time as a student. It took one year to the day to accomplish my dream. Now, my destiny was up to ME!

I waited my required one year and returned to Genesis Career College as a student instructor. This road was just as bumpy as the first. The salon owner that I was working for at the time, as well as her lead stylist, both told me I did not have the experience necessary to be an instructor; they did not support my decision to further my education. Again I almost quit before I ever even started. Thankfully, on December 18, 2012, my mama told me, “Elizabeth, teachers learn by teaching. Do NOT doubt your ability to do this.” With this reverberating through my head, once again I walked through the doors of Genesis Career College.

I clocked out for the final time as a student on August 21, 2013. There are students I know I impacted in their desire to be a stylist, and there are students that impacted me in my desire to get my Instructor’s license. I am so glad I did not let fear keep me from following my dreams.

On November 4, 2013, I began a dream job as a district leader for Baldwin County SmartStyles. In my new job, I get to utilize my both my cosmetology and my instructor licenses. My ten year plan was realized in three and a half years. Genesis Career College and their staff pushed me to endure, and endure I have.

If you have a dream, follow it. If you have a will, you will find a way.

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