Credit: 23ABC News

Some high school seniors in Bakersfield, California are getting the opportunity to kickstart their cosmetology careers.

“I don’t really enjoy sitting in a classroom. I’d rather be hands-on like we are every day here,” said ROC cosmetology student Nya Alyse.

“It’s getting me started,” said another student.

These students spend six hours every day learning all things hair, makeup, skin and nails from industry experts in the new ROTC Cosmetology facility. It’s complete with 45 styling stations, shampooing stations, a color bar and esthetician room.

“We want to have them in the most professional environment that they can, which is what we’ve created here with our student salon,” said instructor Julie Todahl.

They’re even able to start getting clients from their own community.

“I’m so excited, I’m ready for people to come in and get their hair done how they want it done,” said student Emily Gomez.

Not only are these students going to graduate with thousands of dollars worth of cosmetology expertise, but they will also graduate debt-free. After they work for 1,600 hours, they’ll take a state test before becoming licensed cosmetologists.

Josiah Henderson says this program has allowed him to do it all.

“Sometimes you just have to make your own path and do what you want to do to make your dreams come true,” said Henderson. “I’m here until 2:00 and then I have practice until 6:00 and then after that I have my online classes that I do until I go to sleep. And then I wake up and repeat every day.”

While he loves playing football for now, he says his goal for the future includes getting his own barbershop and salon. His teammates are excited, too.

“They’re excited that I’ll be able to cut the football team’s hair,” said Henderson.