Student Highlight: Essence Minter

essence-play-nowSome like curls, others like braids, some like long hair, and others like short.  But unlike these mannequins whose fates are decided for them, our students find power in getting to choose their own futures, selecting the best career pathway that works in their life.

“Pickens is more like a trade school where students can come here and choose a career choice and just really do what they like.  So I chose cosmetology, and that’s what I enjoy doing,” Denver Online High School senior, Essence Minter, noted.

Minter is just over two months into the cosmetology program as a part time student at Pickens, saying, “This is my first year starting here, and the program is two years long.”

She said, “In cosmetology we learn about a little about everything.  Like hair, nails, makeup, barbering, and just all the full services of hair.”

Her day starts bright and early.  “Every morning, you have to get up really early which I struggle with. But school starts at 7:50am and we leave at 11:50am,” she noted.  This allows her the rest of the day to work from home on her online courses with Denver Online.

Currently her tuition at Pickens Technical College is paid through Denver Online’s concurrent enrollment program.  However, once she graduates, she is set to take advantage of Denver Public Schools’ ASCENT program that allows students to continue their higher education tuition-free in the year directly after they graduate high school.

“Basically the ASCENT program pays for your tuition for your school, and I think that’s so helpful because we’re able to just not be stressful about having to worry about paying for things, and just doing what we love doing,” the high school senior shared.

Once she’s completes her program, she aims to work in New York for Bethel.  She said, “With me getting my certificate for cosmetology, I’d be able to work on people’s hair who like actually take live videos.  You know, just kind of like doing actors’ hair.”

As she heads off to graduation, she has a bit advice for her peers who are looking towards their futures. Minter expressed, “If you have something you’re interested in, I think you should go for it and not to let anything hold you back…  You should fully go for your goals.”