Charlene Stoute, a hairdressing student at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, has won a once in a lifetime opportunity, beating off stiff competition to work at the Olympic salon during the 2012 Games.

A competition, launched by Podium - the Further and Higher Education Unit for the 2012 Games - and London 2012 partner Procter & Gamble, appealed for eight Health and Beauty students to take on paid employment working as a Salon Junior on the Olympic Park during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Charlene won one of the highly sought after roles after writing a submission that explained why she wanted to be a Salon Junior at the Games. After attending an interview she wowed the panel and was offered a place on the team.  The panel included Lara Zee and Kenneth Soh who have over 10 years' experience under their belts within the industry, working on countless campaigns including Pantene, Mulberry, Chanel and Vivian Westwood.

As part of her role, Charlene will get paid to work five days a week, working alongside an international crew of stylists and artists, experiencing a highly dynamic and creative salon environment - ideal for an ambitious and talented individual eager to learn and build their skill set. The salons will be based in the media suite and the Olympic village, serving athletes and a host of celebrities and VIP clientele.

Charlene, who was overjoyed when she heard the news, said: “Since starting out in hairdressing, I’ve always visualised working with celebrities and the best stylists, and now that dream has come true.

“When I heard I’d got the job, I was ecstatic. I celebrated with my whole family who were all really happy for me as they know how much this means to me. I’m totally overwhelmed with this opportunity and want to thank all my tutors, Rachel, Sandra and Marilyn, and the College for providing this opportunity.”

Charlene completes her course in July, just in time to start work at the Olympic Park. Afterwards she hopes to open her own salon and specialise in providing wigs for cancer patients. “I love to make people smile” says Charlene. “Just 30 minutes each day makes such a difference, and that’s my aim when I do people’s hair.”

Vice Principal, Jane O’Neill, said: “Opportunities like this don’t come along every day. We’re extremely proud of Charlene and hope this experience leads to a wonderful career in hairdressing.”

Jane added: “This is just one of the many opportunities we’ve provided for our students this year, with many students also gaining work in the Olympic Park through our work with North London Citizens. The Olympics coming to London may only happen once in our lifetime so we’re doing all we can to get our students involved.”

If you're interested in studying Hairdressing at the College, click here to see what courses are available. 

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