Highly driven to be successful in life, 18-year-old Ashley Doughty has used her last year of high school as a stepping-stone in pursuing her career choice of cosmetology.

Doughty has been at Mountain View High School the last four years and recently completed three classes. Unlike most high school students who like to take an easy load and hang out with friends their senior year, Doughty used her spare time to attend Cutting Class Joint Technical Education District Academy of Cosmetology.

JTED, or the Joint Technical Education District Academy, provides free career and technical education for high school students who are sophomores, juniors or seniors. The education allows for them to get a head start on their career choice.

The cosmetology program at JTED requires their students to complete 1,600 hours and get a 75 percent or better in the class, said Doughty. Upon completion, a student receives a cosmetology license.

Doughty’s interest in cosmetology started at an early age when her mom, at the time a beauty consultant, would bring home pieces of paper with faces on them for Doughty to draw on. It didn’t take long for Doughty’s artistic side to come out as she played around with different makeup designs.

“I got pretty creative with it so I decided that maybe cosmetology was something I liked,” said Doughty.

The summer after her junior year, Doughty joined the cosmetology program at JTED. Students learn to cut and fashion hair, do makeup, nails and more.

Doughty’s favorite part is doing nails because she can use her creativity to paint different designs.

The goal of becoming a cosmetologist is not the only thing Doughty has in mind.

“I do want to own my own business,” said Doughty. “I want to have a one-stop salon with hair, nails, makeup and a spa kind of thing.”

Dolores Hoxsie, instructor and supervisor at JTED, said Doughty’s commitment and growth in the program is a testimony to how well she will do in the future.

“I’ve seen her grow a lot in the last year,” said Hoxsie. “It was a         little rough start at first, but she rose above it all. She is a real go-getter and always has a smile on her face.”

To finish the class off, students have to build their own salon and then present it in front of their peers. This requires students to research where they would build a salon, who they would interview, interview questions, resumes and more. This is a project that Hoxsie says helps give her students a realistic view of the hard work and preparation that goes into opening ones own salon.

Doughty graduated with a cosmetology license this month along with receiving her high school diploma. Apart from all her hard work in school, Doughty also volunteers at the Arizona Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, which she earned a scholarship from this year. Doughty now plans on attending Pima Community College to further her education.

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