Reaching their dream

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, June 30, 2009

GETAWAY — Most people when they get off work look forward to kicking back and enjoying the rest of the afternoon and evening. But that’s not the case for Sue Day.

For her there are only a few hours of free time after Day leaves her job as the midnight shift housekeeper at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Then it’s back to work. However, this time work is in the classroom at Collins Career Center as she pursues the managerial cosmetology degree offered at the school.

It means hard work and a lot of schedule juggling. But it is all worth it, the mother of three says.

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“Just knowing at 39 years old I am pursing my dream,” Day said.

Day was 12 when she became fascinated with the idea of doing hair and makeup for a career and her enthusiasm for the work hasn’t diminished over the years.

“When I was 13, I did my first hair cut. It didn’t go well,” she jokes. “This was lifelong dream.”

Day is finishing up an 1800-hour degree at Collins. After she passes the daylong state board exam, she can then open up her own shop if she wishes.

Ashley Kellogg is a newlywed who keeps on her keychain a special memento of her recent Jamaican honeymoon with her husband, Chris. It’s a photo of Kellogg swimming with dolphins, a once in a lifetime opportunity that gave a unique break from her schedule as she also pursues the managerial cosmetology degree.

Her day job is five days a week working at the Sephora counter at J.C. Penney’s. Then it is off to Collins for a 3 to 9 p.m. shift developing her skills as a cosmetologist. Again this means long days for Kellogg, but like her classmate, she is going after an important goal.

“I make myself do it,” Kellogg says about her double-shift of work and school. “I want to be working. I know eventually I will reach my goal.”

Her long-term goal is to own her own salon and spa with an emphasis on her favorite part of cosmetology: doing makeup.

“It is like painting a picture. You can really be an artist with it all,” she said.

It’s a rigorous program that focuses on more than the obvious classes on how to clip a swing cut or frost hair. Students must also master basic chemistry and anatomy to give them a scientific foundation on which to build their styling and makeup knowledge.

After the students become proficient in all the techniques, they go on the floor and work with customers to the studio at Collins.

There they get the additional experience of dealing with customers while offering bargain prices for hair and skin services.

Guiding these women is Georgetta Ramsey, who recently took over as instructor of the adult cosmetology program at Collins. Ramsey knows well the curriculum she teaches. Not only did she go through the program herself when she was in high school, she taught as a substitute for the high school program before taking over the reins of the adult classes.

It’s a program that gave Ramsey the opportunity to have her own business as soon as she graduated from high school. Now she is working to allow her students the same chances she had for success.

“It is very rewarding to see how excited they get,” she said.


Discount salon services are available at the Collins Career Center cosmetology building starting Aug. 3. Walk-ins and appointments are available for men and women.

For more information contact Georgetta Ramsey at 867-6641 Ext. 546.