Emily Barker – Class of 2015

When you were a student, what did you want to do beyond year 12? What are you doing now?

I dreamed of being a beauty therapist. I’m currently living that dream as Manager of Wax Lash Tan.

What do you love about the type of work you do?

I love making people feel good about themselves. If I can make someone happy, then I’ve done my job.

What’s one of your most vivid memories of your time at the college?

Being part of an amazing school community. I remember putting together a fundraiser for ovarian cancer—we held a morning tea that all the teachers attended and had a raffle that local businesses donated prizes for. Lisa Smith from Make Your House a Home attended the event.

Was there a particular teacher or staff member that inspired you?

Kendall O’Sullivan believed in me and showed me I could do anything if I put my mind to it. She inspired me to be the best person I could be. Peter Burns gave me the opportunity to follow my dreams and I would not have gotten where I am today with him opening that door for me.

Were you involved with any extra-curricular activities?

Sadly, I got glandular fever in Year 11 and couldn’t attend school for months. I studied hard at home to be able to go back to complete my Year 11 studies. In Year 12 I worked full-time for the last few months while still attending all my classes. I’m very lucky that BSSC worked with me to complete Year 12 as well as working in my dream job that I’m still doing.

Why did you choose the VCAL program?

I chose the VCAL program because I knew from when I was 14 that I wanted to be a beauty therapist and help people feel amazing like my therapist did for me. I never liked school; I’m a right brain learner so I found school really hard.

I’m a hands-on person, so when I did my first tour of BSSC and spoke to someone about VCAL, I knew straight away it was the program for me. It gave me classes that related to what I wanted to do and gave me the life skills to prepare for my future.

VCAL and my teachers at BSSC changed my life forever. At the age of 23 I’m running a beauty salon, which would never have happened without the VCAL program and my amazing teachers.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?

Anything is possible. Never let anyone tell you no. Reach for the stars!