DENVILLE, NJ-- This weeks student spotlight goes to Pedro Quiroz, Morris County School of Technology student.

There are few men or women who, at 19, have a plan. Pedro Quiroz has been cutting hair since he was a freshman in high school. He started out watching his older brother style his friends hair; he knew whatever his brother could do, he could do better—and he did. Once his sibling stopped and moved on to study mechanical engineering, Pedro took over his friend-based operation while improving his technique.

By junior year of high school, he knew he had to pursue formal training and tried to enroll in Morris County School of Technology’s share time  high school cosmetology program. Unfortunately his timing was off and he was placed on the waiting list. When no seat opened he continued plying his cutting and styling skills with his and his brothers’ friends.  Pedro admits he was not a good student in high school, but he was able to balance his studies along with a part time job at the Men’s Wearhouse. Soon after graduation he left his job, vacationed in Mexico and set out to plan his professional training.

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Again on the waiting list for the Continuing Education Cosmetology class at Morris County Vocational School District he took the last seat after someone withdrew at the last minute.  From that point on Pedro had a defining purpose. Cutting hair was no longer a hobby but a passion. He could visualize paying the bills and doing things he only dreamed about. His goal while in school was to learn every aspect of the cosmetology business and earn this professional license. One of three males in a class that is always dominated by women, the atmosphere was comfortable--an environment to develop his confidence and hone his craft.

Pedro has been working at a local barber shop since acquiring his license in 2014. As a people-person he has learned that satisfying the customer is not just about your skills; you need to listen and communicate well. This fall Pedro will be attending County College of Morris, working toward a business degree, learning as much as possible to open his own business.

Pedro’s advice to non-traditional students: “Go for your dream by setting up a goal that satisfies you.” There were plenty of family and friends who tried to discourage him from following his dream.  “Don’t wait for anyone’s approval—that day won’t come! When you find what you love to do, it’s never feels like work.”