Outstanding Featured Graduate Stories from 2018

In 2018, we caught up with five amazing graduates to ask about the joys, challenges, and successes they've experienced since the launch of their new careers.

Casal Aveda Institute alumni know that earning their license is just the beginning of a unique and passionate road ahead. Whether focusing on celebrity styling, continuing education, or innovative competitions, these grads are paving the way with exquisite talent and heartfelt enthusiasm.

Check out our favorite graduate stories from 2018!

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Kelsey Higginbotham - 2011 Graduate and Master Stylist

Achieving both a Bachelor's in English and her Advanced Cosmetology license, Kelsey Higginbotham believes that education, passion, and hard work are the driving forces to success. Kelsey is also a Hairdressers at Heart Advanced Sassoon scholarship winner and a Wella Master Color Expert and Educator.

mia santiago casal aveda graduate

Mia Santiago - 2007 Graduate and Celebrity Stylist

From her first week at Casal Aveda, Mia Santiago knew she would take her career to New York to work in magazines. Now a Celebrity Stylist for almost four years, Mia has worked with an impressive list of big-name clients, and collaborates with fashion magazines, editorial shoots, and television networks.

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Katie Ponko - 2007 Casal Aveda Graduate and Master Stylist

After studying Product Design and Development and styling for big-name celebrities, Katie Ponko discovered her passion for hair and makeup while working backstage at New York Fashion Week. She is now a Master Stylist, an Aveda Ambassador, a styling and cutting educator, and an in-salon styling coach.

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Amanda Kay DiMuzio - 2014 Graduate, Pravana Artistic Educator, Master Colorist, and Stylist

After bringing her talents to the bridal industry, Amanda Kay DiMuzio found her place at Roots Salon and Wellness Spa. When she's not creating magic behind the chair, she's an Artistic Educator for Pravana, beautifying babes for Sheer Photography, and even dabbling as a stunning model herself.

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Lea Rizer - 2014 Graduate and Signature Stylist

After earning her degree in Psychology and her Cosmetology license, Lea Rizer jumped into the assistant program at Ladies and Gentlemen Salon and Spa, soon becoming one of their full-time stylists. She also works one-on-one with Aveda students through an internship that gives them essential salon experience.

Congratulations to our featured alumnae on all of your achievements!

At Casal Aveda Insitute, we go beyond providing the tools for a great education, and set you on a path to turn your dreams into passionate realities.

Posted on February 24, 2019 and filed under news.