Hairdressing Gold Medal the Product of Passion
Amber Beckjord put an exclamation mark on her bright future last week when the 17-year-old Selkirk College student captured a gold medal at the BC Skills Competition in Hairdressing.
Cutting and styling against 30 of the most talented hairdressing students in the province, Beckjord turned enough heads in Vancouver to bring home the top prize.
“I was confident, but I was still surprised when they called my name,” says Beckjord. “But it was a good surprise.”
The annual Skills BC Competition is part of the Skills Canada program, a proactive non-profit organization that partners with government, educators, private industry and labour to promote and celebrate the skilled trades and technologies as first choice career opportunities for young people across the province. The competition features contests in dozens of disciplines from 3D computer animation to electrical wiring to car painting.
In the hairdressing competition, Beckjord was tasked with coming up with three different styles—day style, night style and men’s progressive—in what was a grueling eight-hour day. In the end, the Winlaw resident was recognized for her creativity, technique and polished final product.
“I’ve had lots of students win at the skills competition and I would say she is the best of the best,” says Bonnie Piderman, the Selkirk College Hairdressing instructor for the last 29 years. “It’s about dedication and passion… she has both of those and I am very proud of her.”
Further adding to Beckjord’s impressive result is that she’s the youngest member of the Selkirk College Hairdressing Class of 2014. Beckjord is one of several Selkirk College students in a variety of trades programs capitalizing on the ACE IT Program which allows high students to take the first level of technical training that gives them dual credit for high school courses and college programs.
“Hairdressing has been something that I have wanted to do for a while,” says Beckjord. “I have always taken classes above my grade, so I thought it was a great opportunity. If I was going to do it anyways… who gets to go to college when they’re still in high school?”
Next week Beckjord will join the rest of the Selkirk College Class of 2014 at the annual graduation ceremony in Castlegar. In June she will join her Mount Sentinel Secondary classmates for her high school graduation.