The Nail School Diaries: Part 1: Meet Amie Pollard
The Beauty Changes Lives|CND|Tippi Hedren Scholarship for those in nail school helps out students looking to make ends meet – and in many instances, helps make dreams a reality. In its inaugural year, the scholarship selected 10 deserving winners from an assortment of essay and video entries, and gave each of them a full–ride to the school of their choice up to $5000.
Excited to see this money make a tangible difference in the life of the winner, we decided to see if the winners would give us an inside scoop on their nail school experience – from first-day jitters, to the finer details of the process. Meet student Amie Pollard as she begins her regular blog for us about her new venture.
July 14, 2014
I’m Amie Pollard from the little tourist town of Casco, ME. I’m 24 years old and have been married to my wonderful husband Brian for 3 years. Growing up a small town girl I always had big city dreams. Over the years my “dream” has changed several times, but looking back, I can see a little girl who always loved and admired beautiful nails. I’ve gone from a girl who used to don the stick-on nails and plastic light-up shoes to a woman with a passion for nail enhancements and a quieter, less “flashy” choice in footwear, though I do appreciate a bit of sparkle on my sandals!
I have wanted to attend nail school for some time now. I decided I had to do something different and more meaningful with my life. In December of 2013 I started looking into different schools and decided I wanted to attend Spa Tech Institute in Westbrook. Spa Tech has 4 locations, 3 in Massachusetts and 1 in Maine. The Maine campus is the only one right now that offers the nail tech course. I knew it was meant to be so I set up a meeting with the financial aid and admissions directors to start my registration.
Because the course is only 200 hours, as that is the Maine state requirement, it does not qualify for financial aid. The financial aid director told me about 2 scholarships that I could apply for and the websites at which to apply. She also advised that I apply for a Sally Mae loan. Feeling confident that we (my husband and I) would be approved for a loan, I applied for the scholarships with little expectation of receiving either one of them. Well, it turned out we did not get approved for a loan. I was crushed. I quickly got in contact with the financial aid and admissions directors and they had me come in and set up a 3-year payment plan for the program. Though I was not excited about this, I felt relief that I could still take the course. I decided to put my faith in God and pray that I would get at least one of the scholarships. I did not want to seem greedy in praying for both, you know!
I decided to go the essay route because I am not one for being on camera. I talked about my current job, my financial situation and how the money would help me in my pursuit to become a nail tech. I was open, honest, and I shared my goals for my involvement in and my passion for the industry. I want to enjoy the work I do, while making someone else feel beautiful. Simply put, people go to salons to feel good, and I want to be the person to provide the service that makes someone feel that way. It also doesn’t hurt to get paid for doing something that you love, right?
My husband and I were out grocery shopping one day in April when I checked my email (he hates when I use my phone when we spend time together). That day, I saw an email from someone I didn’t know. I was going to delete it when something told me to open it instead. I sat in the passenger’s seat of our car eyes bugging out, mouth dropped as I read, “The time has come. Congratulations!…” I proceeded to exclaim “Oh My God. OH MY GOD! NO WAY. OH MY GOD!!” My husband, unsure of what is happening, asks “What?! What’s wrong?!” I read him the email, crying and laughing all the while, thanking God for hearing my prayer! 9 other people and I had been picked out of a pool of 110 applicants for the Beauty Changes Lives|CND|Tippi Hedren Scholarship*! Now that is a miracle if I have ever seen one.
I was originally going to start school in April, and I would have graduated last month, but the start date got pushed to June 17 because of unforeseen circumstances. This works out great however, as I am still able to work during the day. Because these classes are at night, they run for 4 months instead of 2, so I will graduate at the end of October and take my state board test in November. Knowing that I can start my new career by the end of the year is quite thrilling. I advise that anyone who is looking into becoming a nail tech and is feeling doubtful, to just have faith and know that anything is possible if you believe in it! You have to look at every hurdle as motivation to get what you truly want. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all as I go on this journey. -Amie
*Tippi Hedren is an actress and philanthropist who was active in humanitarian missions in Vietnam during the 60’s. She helped women in Vietnam to become licensed in the nail tech field, and because of her work the scholarship was established in her name. Beauty Changes Lives will be starting the fall session of the BCL CND Tippi Hedren Nail scholarships on July 14th, 2014. It is open to prospective students who are not currently active in a program prior to July 14th. Ten winners are selected and they will receive 100% of their tuition paid, up to $5,000 (not including books/ supplies). You can choose to submit a short essay explaining why you want to enter into this field, and how the money will help you with the school. Or, you can submit a short video answering the same questions. If you are interested in applying go to: http://www.beautychangeslives.org/scholarships.