Seniors begin their journey to individual career paths

As summer approaches, seniors are expected to make their post-high school decisions. However, for some, the path of college is not the most suitable. The seniors listed below are choosing to take their own unique paths after graduation. 

Taylor Bell

Taylor Bell, senior, will be attending Bella Institute of Cosmetology, located in Beaverton. The school provides flexible scheduling classes for barbering, nail technology, hair design, skincare, and esthetics. Here, she is planning to obtain her hair stylist license and further her knowledge of esthetics.

“I have always wanted to do hair,” Bell said. “I hope to specialize in hair extensions when I graduate.”

Currently, she is working at Mane and Co. hair salon located on Willamette Falls Drive. In her current position, she is able to begin learning about hair with the accessibility to practice on wigs and fake hair.

As Taylor Bell transitions into cosmetology, she gains experience through her job at Mane and Co. hair salon. (Lauren Sexton )

For Bell, sports once played a role in choosing a college suitable for her. However, she did not let this prevent her from pursuing her dreams when it came to the final decision.

“I stopped playing sports in high school and that was my biggest motivation to go to college,” Bell said. “I felt like I’d rather just do what I wanted to do instead of going to college.”

Bell’s brother, Ricky Bell, class of 2021 alum, and his girlfriend, played a part in Bell’s decision. The two, both attending Oregon State University, provided guidance and personal experiences to assist Bell.

“They were [helpful in me deciding] that I’m not really missing out on that much if I don’t go to college and that my experience [at Bella Institute] is going to be more beneficial for me,” Bell said.

By maintaining a flexible schedule and relationships with current peers, Bell is able to grasp the idea of what college would be like. 

“I could go to a different college every weekend and visit people, so I’m excited to get to experience a bunch of different college lives,” Bell said.

Bella Institute has one of the highest graduation rates for competency-based education in Portland with over 110 years of experience. The school encourages students to continue their careers after graduation.

“It felt like the right decision,” Bell said. “I’d like to own a salon eventually.”

Timothy Varga

There are multiple fields available in the U.S. Military, but Timothy Varga, senior, has chosen the Marine Corps. Before signing for his four years of active duty and four years of reserve duty, Varga watched as his brother took the path he is now aiming toward. In doing so, his appeal to the Marine Corps grew.

“My brother did the exact same path and looking at where he’s at, the military has taken a lot of good care of him,” Varga said. “He’s currently living in a nice apartment, fully paid for, with his wife and he really enjoys his job. So, I was thinking if they had this many benefits and they’re treating my brother this nice, I might as well fall into the same boat.”

Varga is enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps as an intelligence operative, focusing primarily on signals intelligence. Here, Varga will be reviewing communications and support. 

The boot camp he will be training at is Camp Pendleton in San Diego. Varga will be taking online college classes while living in the San Diego area.

Timothy Varga prepares for the next chapter in his life as he watches his brother’s success in the military. (Lauren Sexton)

“I plan on just keeping it to two classes a semester because that’s the most I can get from financial tuition,” Varga said. “And it’s going to be free of charge, which is a huge bonus for me.”

Currently, Varga is building the skill set that will soon be required of him with the elite program, a group he is subject to training with once a week but is not affiliated directly with the Marine Corps. The program will also provide multiple camps for the trainers to get a taste of what boot camp will be like. In addition to this, Varga is training regularly with a personal trainer, and has separate workouts with the Marines on the weekends. 

“No one wants to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be up at 5:00 [a.m.] every single day to go to work, I’m going to be running around with people until 6:30 [a.m.], and I’m going to be working a job until 4:00 [p.m.],’” Varga said. “There is obviously a displeasing factor in it but the hard work does pay off in the long run, so I’ll hold myself to those standards.”

The signal intelligence path can open doors to governmental work, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA).

“I feel like it’s a good life experience and something that will build my character and keep me on the right track of becoming who I want to be,” Varga said. “I’ve learned in life that I move forward the most when I’m put into an uncomfortable environment. It’s a new chapter in my life.”

Nicosia Vick Beaudin

After assisting in the school musicals, “Matilda,” “Twelfth Night,” and “Shorts,” Nico Vick Beaudin, senior, will be moving to Las Vegas with his girlfriend in late June to pursue his passion for sound design and engineering. 

“When I move to Vegas, I am going to be looking for a paid internship or entry-level jobs to get some experience so I can eventually enter a higher-level job,” Beaudin said. “I’m also in the process of reaching out to hotels and venues in Vegas.”

Before deciding to move, Beaudin worked as the head sound designer for “Matilda,” the head sound designer and lead sound engineer for “Twelfth Night,” and a soundstage help for “Shorts.” Throughout these plays, Beaudin was in charge of sound effects, microphone volumes and awareness, and vocal effects that would play back during the performances.

“I hope to do that in Vegas,” Beaudin said. “The dream is mixing sound in Hollywood for movies, but that comes after lots of experience. And Vegas is a great place to get experience with the [numerous] live performances, like concerts and shows.”

Outside of sound design and engineering, Beaudin has experience with acting. He has taken acting classes in high school, been an extra in television shows, and performed in plays. 

“I think sound design is super cool, but I have wanted to be a [television] and movie actor for 16 years, and I think I always will,” Beaudin said. “I have a better opportunity [with sound design] to get my ‘in’ and maybe acting college down the line, but I haven’t quite gotten that far yet.”

After finding his new job in Las Vegas, Beaudin hopes he can find benefits in ways outside of just sound design and engineering.

Nicosia Vick Beaudin plans to travel to Las Vegas to pursue his passion for. sound design and engineering and acting on the side. (Lauren Sexton)

“If I can spend time around people performing, the better grasp I’ll have on the performances themselves,” Beaudin said. “So, later I can give a better performance. But there’s also just a lot of luck [that comes with professional acting]. It’s a really risky game.”

Beginning as an intermediate sound designer to attempting to pursue that dream in Las Vegas can present concerns regarding the future. 

“Moving 1,000 miles blind without having a job is scary, so this is definitely going to be a huge step for me,” Beaudin said. “But, I think it’s gonna be a good step, [one in] the right direction.”