SAN ANTONIO — Schools have allowed students to slowly come back into the classroom, but for some students it’s almost necessary to be in the classroom.

When you think of cosmetology, you might just think of hair and nails. However, for the senior girls in the cosmetology department at Edgewood ISD, it’s so much more.

Patricia Campos is back for in-person class. It’s only been a few weeks and already it’s quite a change.

The Edgewood ISD cosmetology student said the school gave her all the tools needed to take the class virtually, but it wasn’t the same.

“I used those, and I practiced on my mannequin. If not on my mannequin, I would practice with my family. So it in a way it was hard, but in a way, it wasn’t because we still had the stuff with us to practice,” said Campos.

She said her upbringing is what motivated her to learn how to do hair.

“I come from a humble family. We didn’t have enough money to pay to do all of this. So, I got into it, so I could do my family’s hair,” said Campos.

Campos attends a different high school and takes the bus over to the cosmetology department five days a week. Three other students do the same. It should be many more, according to teacher Julie Garcia.

“Our senior group, we have 25 students. Unfortunately, you see the ratio that is here, only four. That’s where we’re having a problem. Either they have family members with compromised immunity systems, so they’re not feeling comfortable coming in,” said Garcia.

Julia Garcia said these students need the in-person instruction, but not all of them are able to make it to campus. She worries about the impact COVID-19 is having on their lives. For her, they are more than just students.

“A lot of these students are having hardships of having to take care of sisters, or people lost jobs. So being there for them as well. I’ve been with them…this is my group that I’ve had for three years,” said Garcia.

She said days of cosmetology competitions are long gone. However, the drive to stay inspired isn’t. 

Campos said nothing, not even a pandemic, will get in her way of achieving her goals.

“I actually do want to own my own business. That’s why I’m going to college for business management, so I can learn how to own a business the right way,” said Campos.

Campos hopes to continue to make her family proud.