Our programs prepare you for jobs that employers are trying to fill — both locally and nationally. While many young people are finding it difficult to move forward with their careers, CTE graduates find themselves in demand.

Kelly Slywka, Cosmetology

On her first interview upon graduating from BOCES, the potential employer’s first question to Kelly Slywka was “Where did you go to cosmetology school?”

When she answered WSWHE BOCES, the interviewer was relieved. She knew Slywka was capable.

“Students who go to BOCES pass the boards,” said Slywka who is now owns her own salon in Saratoga Springs. “You learn when you go there. (Instructors) Ben Vassi and Charlene LaMore were tough and they put me in some sink or swim situations that at the time upset me. But looking back on it, throwing me into tough situations, like having to cut a client’s hair on the spot, taught me a lot.”

As owner of Cheveux Designs on Maple Avenue, Slywka is grateful for her experience at the F. Donald Myers Education Center campus. It came at a perfect time in her life. She had a toddler at home and wanted to end her career as a dance instructor.

“I couldn’t take the parents who wanted to live vicariously through their kids; and I always liked playing with hair,” she said.

So at age 32, she enrolled in the cosmetology program, which she was able to complete in 10 months.

“It was perfect for me. I live in Saratoga. I didn’t have to drive far,” said Slywka. “The hours were nice so I could get home earlier. Most cosmetology schools go until 5. BOCES allowed me to pay tuition in installments.”

In addition, Mr. Vassi helped arranged an internship for Slywka at Kelly Rae Rose Hair Designs, then located in Malta. When the salon moved to Clifton Park, she joined All Things Beautiful before deciding to open her own salon. She has more than 100 regular clients.

“I would absolutely recommend BOCES to anyone interested in a career in cosmetology,” said Slywka. “You will be able to pass the boards, you’ll have real live people to practice on during the Friday clinics. It was tough, but it was a really, really good experience.”

For information on the Cosmetology program, click here