High school valedictorian utilizes free tuition to learn professional and technical career skills

Araceli Cervantes visited Metro Tech for the first time as an 8th grader during a summer career exploration program. She knew immediately the Cosmetology Program was her thing.

“I have loved the artistry of hair and makeup as long as I can remember. I knew I wanted to be in the Cosmetology Program at Metro Tech when I was old enough,” Araceli said.

After missing the application deadline her junior year of high school, Araceli applied and was accepted into cosmetology her senior year. She attended Metro Tech half days, participated in Oklahoma ArtScience Prize on Team Blue after school, and graduated from Star Spencer High School as Valedictorian of her class with a 4.3 GPA. Despite her busy schedule last school year, Araceli said she has no regrets.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities Metro Tech has given me. Through Oklahoma ArtScience Prize, I learned to be a better communicator and team player. I also know many people pay to attend cosmetology school, and my tuition was free as a high school student. I also received a 13th Year Scholarship to finish this year as an adult, so I’ll graduate without any debt,” she said.

The California native who moved to Oklahoma just eight years ago continues to work hard as she moves closer to her goals.

“I attend the Cosmetology Program full-time, and work part-time at Sephora in customer service to polish my professional skills. I also have four younger siblings so my life definitely stays busy.”

Although Araceli hasn’t chosen a specific career path yet, she’s confident her future is bright. Whether she continues in the beauty industry as a professional make-up artist or hair stylist, owners a salon of her own, or pursues an interest in funeral service, her work ethic and desire to keep growing professionally makes for a solid foundation.

Metro Tech is an Oklahoma technology school that offers free tuition to Oklahoma City Public Schools, Crooked Oak Public Schools and Millwood Public Schools students. Full-time and part-time training is also offered for adult students. For more information (405) 424-TECH.