Students in the Eastlake High School cosmetology program have been volunteering their time and skills to the residents of the St. Giles Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Eastlake cosmetology instructor Christal Montalvo and her students provided residents with hair, makeup and nail services during the holidays, such as Halloween and at Thanksgiving, so that the residents were ready for their special family dinner.
“I am overwhelmed with excitement and pride that my students took initiative to give back to the residents at St. Giles Nursing Home,” Montalvo said. “As my students reflected on the experience, they shared a common feeling of fulfillment and heartwarming connections.”
The students are seizing opportunities in the cosmetology program to refine their skills beyond the Falcon Salon. More importantly, they find they are bringing joy and giving back to the community, Montalvo said.
“Besides getting to practice what we do at school and expand it outside into our community, it was an opportunity to make a change in someone else’s day,” said Eastlake senior Elizabeth Quezada.
Montalvo stays in regular contact with the St. Giles Nursing and Rehabilitation Center regarding volunteer opportunities for her students. She said experiences like these help students stay grounded and remember what is important.
“Our residents were so happy, and their families were thankful,” said Maria Trevino, activity director at St. Giles Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.
Eastlake High School senior Destiny Enriquez said volunteering at the center was a touching experience, but it was also personal.
“My grandpa was in a home, so I learned a lot through that and now I try to share my time with others,” Enriquez said. “Especially during the holidays, which is a season about giving not receiving.”
Many of the students have provided their time outside of school to a variety of other causes, as well. They said the services they provide through these experiences teach them about real life skills essential to any career, such as listening, communication, and networking.