ICTC Cosmetology Student Awarded First Place in State for Nail Care

Lauren Miller (right), Indiana County Technology Center Cosmetology Senior, poses with her model, Felicity Regan (left) after her first place award at the 2017 SkillsUSA Pennsylvania State Nail Care Competition

As a little girl, Lauren Miller would watch her cosmetologist mother at work.  The smiles her mother created by transforming her clients were something Lauren would never forget.  Lauren knew at a very young age that she wanted to follow her mother’s example and pursue a Cosmetology career.  Two years ago, she began her journey in the field by enrolling in the Cosmetology program at the Indiana County Technology Center. Since then, her journey has been nothing short of amazing, filled with accomplishments and several awards, including her most recent honor as SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Nail Care Champion.

Lauren’s career at the ICTC began two years ago when she enrolled as a sophomore into the Cosmetology Program, instructed by Ms. Sandra Zulick.  Lauren immediately took an interest in the nail care curriculum. A SkillsUSA member, Lauren was eligible to compete in District Competitions.  In order to prepare for the competition, Lauren not only worked diligently in the classroom, but also practiced her skills outside of the classroom with the assistance of industry professional, Ronda Kibuk owner of the Purple Pinkie, a nail salon in Kittanning, PA.  The Nail Care competition concentrated on pedicures, manicures, gel nails, sculpture and required the student to demonstrate creativity through nail art design. Through the tutelage of both Ms. Zulick and Ronda, Lauren’s skills blossomed and she took home first place in District competition and third place at the State Level competition. However, according to Lauren, the competition was not without its challenges, “Competing against older girls who had more experience was difficult.  Not knowing what to expect or how the process worked was a challenge.”

Lauren credits much of her success to her training in and out of the classroom, but her drive to succeed led her to continue to perfect her skills throughout her junior year.  This dedication catapulted her success during her junior year as he earned first place in both District and State Competitions.  As State champion, Lauren travelled this past summer to Louisville, KY where she competed in the National Competition and earned fifth place in Nail Care.  Lauren credits her experiences in the competitive arena for her success in the competition: “I knew what to expect and I felt more prepared this time around.”

Lauren is now a senior at United High School and the ICTC.  She plans to continue her reign as State Champ this year and continues to proactively pursue her training both in and out of the classroom environment.   Lauren’s accomplishments, drive, leadership, professionalism, and obvious skillset has attracted the attention of local business owners, and landed her a job this past summer as a receptionist at Xclusive Nails.  Upon graduation, she will be promoted to Nail Technician with the company.

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