September 26, 2021

Respect by Mae Candon and Mariah David, HACTC Cosmetology Students


The Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC) is a place where students are able to choose a career path in which they can build a future. Our mission at the HACTC is Respect. Engage. Learn. Work. Serve. Grow. in which the foundation is built on Respect.  

HACTC Cosmetology StudentAccepting everyone for who they are and what they do is important to us and our community. To us, respect means that we treat people equally and we don’t judge them for who they are or how they present themselves. We learn to talk to everyone in a professional and friendly manner. Students are in the HACTC building for a large portion of their day and they want to feel respected and safe so they can focus on their chosen path. We feel free to be ourselves here. Everyone has different styles and personalities and we all like different things, but we share our passion for Cosmetology.  

Because of this culture we have created, we never feel judged and enjoy getting all sorts of compliments from our teacher and other staff with positive feedback and constructive criticism to help us to improve ourselves and to grow. We have learned how to be a team by helping each other. If there is a problem with anything in or out of school between staff and students, there is a world of support.  Learning our strengths and weaknesses has been useful in that we can use our strengths to help with other’s weaknesses. 

HACTC Cosmetology StudentIn Cosmetology we have learned to become more patient when things aren’t going as easy as hoped. If we get frustrated, we have learned to persevere by accepting constructive criticism, trying again, and never giving up so that the end result is more satisfying.  We have also learned that it is important to be a team player by enhancing our leadership skills.  For example, utilizing peers as a resource to complete tasks is super important as we will need to rely on colleagues in our industry. Also, our teacher has guided us to be a little more outgoing, encouraging us out of our comfort zones to have professional conversations with our peers. This helps us to overcome always wanting to work independently. She also challenges us by choosing tasks that help us to strive to be better, holding us to high expectations.

We have learned to help each other with organization and time management skills. Learning to juggle responsibilities and prioritize tasks are important in this future career. Helping other students in the classroom makes us feel good, leading us to look forward to the future and working with clients, helping them to feel good about themselves. 

We feel that the future is going to hold a lot of success and joy whether we choose to do Cosmetology for a career or not. There are a lot of life skills we have learned attending this program that no matter what direction our future holds the HACTC program has and is helping us find who we are and what we want our future to hold.