Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I had the opportunity to go home to New Mexico. During my trip I stopped in Alamogordo, NM, where I first started my career. Olympian University of Cosmetology is where I received my cosmetology and instructor license and worked as an educator/director for over 12 years. During my time there I had a lot of wonderful students. Many of them went on to achieve great success in the beauty and wellness industry. It is an incredible feeling to see that many of them are still successful and working in various salons.
One student in particular has always held a special place in my heart. Maggie McAdams Nowell first came to me when she was a sophomore in high school. Like many young students who inquire about cosmetology school, she often styled her friends’ hair and was very interested in coming to cosmetology school after high school. After she completed high school, she enrolled in our school and went on to complete both the cosmetology and instructor program.
Maggie has had a successful career as a stylist and an educator and has become a very talented colorist. It has been years since I left my job at Olympian but thanks to social media I have been watching her over the last few years and I just beam with pride when I see what she is up to. When I went back home over the holidays I had some free time and so I booked an appointment for a haircut with her in her salon. It was quite a feeling to walk into the successful business she has created and it made me think back to that first time I met her when she was filled with excitement and possibilities. It was so much fun sitting in her chair and catching up. Maggie is living proof of how educators help students achieve their dreams and live a life they love.
While catching up with Maggie she shared a story with me. She said when she first came to Olympian she had intended cosmetology school to be a stepping stone and to be used as a means to put herself through a 4-year college. Then, one day in the classroom we shared a video about Hair World and she told me that in that moment she knew that she was meant to stay in the cosmetology business, and she has stayed, quite successfully! As an educator you never know what one action you will take that will have the greatest impact on your students. We have the opportunity every single day to launch or crush our students’ dreams.
I share my story about Maggie because I think it is important to look back at our graduates and see their successes and remind ourselves why we do what we do. I encourage you to stop and take a look at the impact you have had. Who is your Maggie?