A Bloomington, Illinois cosmetology student and recent graduate from Bloomington High School ranked as the 15th-best in the state of Illinois in the 2015 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.
SkillsUSA is an organization with a structured program designed to improve the quality of skilled workers in the United States and encourage students to be champions of their trade.
Laura Coronel graduated high school in June and immediately began honing her cosmetology skills at the Bloomington Area Career Center. At the end of June she was already attending the prestigious cosmetology competition in Louisville, Kentucky.
Coronel began her cosmetology studies during her senior year in high school through Bloomington’s Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology. She attended classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in addition to her regular high school coursework.
In April she won first place in the state competition for 2014-2015, which was held in Springfield, Illinois. She and six other students from the Bloomington Area Career Center made it to the SkillsUSA national competition, which she said was far more daunting than previous competitions she had entered. “It’s like a whole other level from state because so many competitions are going on at once,” she said.
Coronel worked hard to sharpen her skills and broaden her knowledge of cosmetology but admits that the girls who took the top spots deserved their recognition. She says she was very happy with her presentation but there were many talented people there.
The win gave her the realization that she was fortunate to have great teachers and a great school that takes interest in their students.
Her recent national win has qualified her to go to the world finals, which will be held in 2017.
Coronel is thrilled to be going to the next level and hopes to graduate with her cosmetology certificate this fall.