Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Unity Reed High School graduate Valeria Lora was chosen as a Career Success Star, Human Services Career Cluster in Career and Technical Education (CTE) by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Lora started her own small business, Vallora Studios, and is also a technician and provides eyelash extension services.
Lora attended Unity Reed High and enrolled in their CTE program’s cosmetology class her junior year. By the end of her senior year of high school, Lora obtained her cosmetology license. Lora said that going through the program was one of the best choices she could have made for her business, Vallora Studios.”
In an interview with VDOE, Lora said, “In order to get into the beauty industry or work in a salon, you have to have a license. Since I received my license in high school, I was able to pay off college by working in a salon.”
While in the program, Lora said, “We learned about hair, skin, nails, anatomy, but we were also able to do more hands-on work. We had people come in and have services done, so we were able to learn communication skills, customer service … [I]t kind of helped us experience what a real salon would be like.”
Melanie Switzer, cosmetology teacher at Unity Reed, had glowing praise for Lora. “She is an amazing individual and frequently visits our cosmetology program as a guest demonstrator and motivational speaker for our students. She is a wonderful role model for students.”
Lora ends her interview by imparting advice to current high school students enrolled in the CTE program’s cosmetology course. “I would tell the girls in high school to really appreciate the opportunity they have, [and]to set goals for when they finish school … [T]here are so many opportunities, and so many things that you can do with a cosmetology license, even if you don’t want to do hair. Here [Vallora Studios], we do eyelash extensions. With your license, you can do makeup, you can do skin waxing, there’s so many different options of what you can do with your license. Or even just to use it while you’re in college.”