Students and faculty cheered as the red ribbon was cut, a symbol that the schools salon is now open for business. Instructor Demetra Bolden said the students are excited and have been waiting for this day for a long time.
"They always tell me, Ms. Bolden, when are we going to stop working on mannequins and work on people?" Bolden said.
Student Justice Walker said she's excited to have customers sit at her work station.
"I just couldn't do nothing but smile, was shaking. You know, the normal butterflies," Walker said.
Walker is a senior at Peoria High School, she's starting her second and final year in the cosmetology program. On opening day at the salon she already has her first client.
After completing the program, students can sit for the state board and become licensed cosmetologists. Walker said it's a head start in following her dreams after high school.
"Well since I'm going to have my license already, I plan to go to college for business administration. And that'll help me own my own salon," Walker said.
It's helped plan for her future, but Walker said this program is a life saver every day.
"It helps us stay out of trouble, you know. If you're doing hair, you're not in the streets running around. But it's a good opportunity to do what we love, doing hair," Walker said.
The salon is now open to walk ins every Wednesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The students can do a range of hair and nail services at discounted prices. A manicure, for example, is $9 and a pedicure is $15.
Visit their website for a full list of services and pricing.