Student Kyrie Nishijima came into the industry last August, when she began her hairdressing studies at Stacey’s Hands of Champions Beauty College in Ogden, Utah. Recently she caught the industry’s attention by winning first place in the Junior Style Stars Competition, a national hair design contest. “I’ve always liked to do hair,” says the 17-year-old artist-in-training. “I would do my own hair and practice on a neighbor girl, and thought hairdressing would be fun to do as a job.” Nishijima, who will graduate from the beauty school in December, says she enjoys all aspects of hair design. “I’m working and learning,” she says. School Director Randee Worster notes that Nishijima’s greatest asset is her commitment. “Kyrie is so dedicated for someone her age. She never misses a day of class and she’s always at her station, either studying or working.” Because Nishijima also attends high school, she is enrolled in Stacey’s 18-month program. To obtain a beauty license in Utah, the completion of 2,000 hours of education is required; Nishijima has already reached the halfway point. According to Worster, once students hit the 350- or 400-hour mark, they become eligible to begin working on live clients, and that’s when the staff can see talent surface. “Kyrie is constantly booked with return customers,” says Worster. “That’s how we knew she was exceptional.” To see Nishijima’s winning look from the competition, go to www.junior-style-stars.com.