Leyla Kuchiyeva initially wanted to become a nurse.
“I did take a certified nursing assistant course and got my certification,” she said. “As I started my clinical work, I realized that nursing was not the right choice for me.
“But I would always watch YouTube videos of people teaching how to do crazy braids or give haircuts, I would practice on my little cousins and had a lot of fun.”
So she researched schools and found out about College of DuPage’s Cosmetology program and the new program space at COD’s Addison Center. After completing some coursework at the Technology Center of DuPage while still finishing high school, Kuchiyeva immediately enrolled at COD upon graduation.
“It was exciting because we were the first students in the new Cosmetology program space,” she said. “I loved the new equipment, the new salon, new clients and my new friends!
“Whenever I had a question, I emailed one of my instructors or gave a call. They were always willing to help me with my every need, whether it was educational, career or personal.”
After earning her certificate, Kuchiyeva was working at a hair salon but left work due to her pregnancy. She then worked at one of the Chicago area’s few organic salons, Splendor Salon and Spa, before deciding to return to COD and earn her associate degree.
She is thankful that COD continues to help her realize her dreams.
“I’m honestly 110 percent glad I signed up,” she said. “I met great students and instructors, and I cannot explain how much fun I had. My favorite part of the course was having beauty competitions with prizes for the winners.
“A little friendly advice to anyone considering COD is to always stay on top of your game! Take control of your own life and don’t leave what can be done today for tomorrow. It's a great school, fill out your FAFSA on time although the prices for classes are awesome.”