Okanagan College Esthetician Certificate Program Amanda Guiltner (left) treats Joyce Halford to a pedicure. The students were offering free manicures and pedicures to Coldstream Manor residents as part of their community outreach.

Okanagan College Esthetician Certificate Program Amanda Guiltner (left) treats Joyce Halford to a pedicure. The students were offering free manicures and pedicures to Coldstream Manor residents as part of their community outreach.

Head to toe training

Some of the Coldstream Meadows residents didn’t know manicures and pedicures could feel so good until they had the treatments from the Okanagan College Esthetician Certificate Program students.

“I enjoy it so much. My feet haven’t had so much attention ever,” said Joyce Halford, as she relaxed with a pedicure from student Amanda Guiltner.

The students, who graduate this week, were doing the free services for the residents as a community outreach.

“This is the second year we’ve had the program in Vernon and we will do the outreach again next year, maybe extending it. The residents are so grateful,” said program instructor Candace Timm, owner of Essential Elements Day Spa in Vernon.

Hand and foot care is just one of the things students learn in the intense eight-month program which includes classroom and practical work in the Spa Training Centre that has been set up at the college and is open to the public at reduced prices September to April. The students also learn make up and skin care, reflexology, waxing, various forms of massage, and the operation of esthetic equipment used in salons and spas.

They had field trips to the Spa Trade Show in Vancouver and the Vancouver Science Centre to study anatomy as well as guest speakers on topics like expectations in the workplace and a module on business skills needed if they want to set up their own businesses.

“The program was great. We had a fantastic teacher and that helps a lot, she went over and above for us. We leave feeling confident and prepared for the workplace,” said student Sheila Wicks.

Student Natasha Bujold said she has felt it was very helpful to learn which types of massage are appropriate or not for certain medical conditions and she is happy to meet the residents at Coldstream Meadows.

“Everyone has been so grateful. We have been able to help them with some tips about foot care,” she said.

Caleeda Ross is a student who had done two years of a social work degree.

“Through social work I can help make people feel happy on the inside and through esthetics I can help make them feel happy on the outside. The foot care is particularly important for seniors because if their feet hurt and they have trouble walking it can lead to loss of independence.”

Graduation is both a happy and a sad time.

“It has been exciting to see the students come in and learn. I enjoy seeing their bright eyes when they get a concept they have been struggling with. They are all very encouraging to each other. I love my students and I’m proud of them and I’ll be available for them if they have questions after they are working,” said Timm.

Registration for the Esthetician Certificate Program starting in September and running full-time days until April are being taken now. There is also a Nail Technician Certificate Program that runs from September to January full-time evenings. Both programs are eligible for government student loans and bursaries/awards.

There will be an information session for high school students in May and a public information session in June as part of the Okanagan College general course information presentation.

For more information and registration call Okanagan College at 250-545-7291.

Apply for certificate programs online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/apply.