Business owner breaks ground with cosmetology scholarshipFootball and fashion are teaming up to boost the career of a future cosmetologist.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Football and fashion are teaming up to boost the career of a future cosmetologist. A new $1,000 Serenity Spa and Salon scholarship will be offered at Superior High School this spring with help from the community.
“You have so many options in this industry,” said Jolene Timmers, who owns the business at 1705 Tower Ave. The field encompasses hair and services, skin care, spa treatments and more. Cosmetologists and barbers can work at an established business or be their own boss.
“Our business is obviously booming,” Timmers said, pointing out the large number of salons and spas in the area. Yet this scholarship is the breaking new ground.
“The one Jolene is setting up will be the first for cosmetology,” said Jill Edgette, scholarship secretary for Superior High School. Currently, the school offers about 70 scholarships, some of which have multiple recipients. About 40 come from the School District of Superior Foundation.
“The other 30 are from people like Jolene who just want to sponsor one,” Edgette said.
Timmers attended the school’s 2012 commencement exercises to watch you younger sister, Jessica Sajec, graduate. She was surprised by the number of students who received scholarships, 122 in all. Sajec entered cosmetology school at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College of Superior this fall. She struggled to cover the cost of the first semester, which included an equipment kit, Timmers said. That prompted the salon owner to set up the scholarship.
“With as many scholarships as there are, why not have one that specializes in what we do?” she said.
To fund the gift, Serenity Spa and Salon will be hosting a Superbowl board. Customers can purchase one of the board’s 100 slots for $10. The winner will receive a basket brimming with more than $1,000 worth of products and gift certificates for services from Timmers, independent stylist Michelle Burkhart and Cat Mattson, a cosmetic tattooist and nail technician.
“It’s more fun to get the community involved in it,” Timmers said.
The business has had good response from the public in the past. Serenity partnered with Wine Beginnings in May to raise more than $1,000 for Harbor House Crisis Shelters through raffles and the sale of eco-friendly bags.
Edgette fields one or two requests a year to start a new scholarship. Some are aimed at a single graduating class, others continue for years.
“It’s nice, very nice the community responds to our high school graduates,” she said.
To set up a scholarship, contact the SHS counseling office, (715) 39408720, ext. 105. Edgette will send paperwork for the donor to fill out. Those setting up the scholarship can choose their own criteria. In the case of the Serenity Spa and Salon Scholarship, applicants must be entering the barber/cosmetology program at WITC and have a GPA of 2.5 or better.
“We can keep it local,” Timmers said, and offer it to students who may be extremely creative but have only average grades.
WITC-Superior’s barber/cosmetology program has about 30 students at any given time, according to Laura Wassenaar, divisional dean of family and consumer services for WITC. New classes start each semester for up to a dozen students, and there is a waiting list for the program. Graduates earn a technical diploma and are qualified to perform all the services.
“The more cross-trained everybody is,” Wasenaar said, the more salon owners like it. The placement rate for the program is high — a follow up of 2009-2010 graduates from the Superior campus showed 91 percent were employed.
Every year, Edgette contacts past scholarship donors to ask if they want to participate again. She just sent out that batch of letters Oct. 1. She compiles everything by mid-December so students can get application forms by Dec. 20, in time for Christmas break. The forms will be available at the school guidance office and on the school district website, www.superior.k12.wi.us. Go to the SHS page and click on the counseling tab. Applications are due by April 1 and decisions are made by the end of April, Edgette said. And there is still time to set up a scholarship if any individual, business or organization is interested.