URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – Tricoci University is a cosmetology, barber, and esthetician school and it really focuses on not only making sure veterans and front-line workers look and feel their best, but also supports them when it comes to their education.

“We really want to be able to provide service to those who provided the ultimate service for us. So, really making sure that we can do the things that we love here,” Claire Lantz, campus director, said. “We really focus on providing education to individuals so that they can join the professional services industry after school.”

It’s cosmetology, barbering, and esthetics. Teaching and training the world’s next great stylists, but they do so much more.

“So it’s definitely something that our students love and enjoy to be able to serve those folks as well,” she said.

She’s talking about veterans because for this university veterans day is all year round.

“For us, the emphasis is more on giving back to the communities, focusing on how can we help those that are surrounding us to make our community better, and that’s where we have the program. She said she loves community, so it’s not just for military veterans or active duty members, it’s also for our teachers. Front-line workers, they’re able to receive services at a discounted price, but they’re also able to learn different techniques, come see us, and help us with the students that we do train. So overall, it’s not just focused on veterans and front lines, but we feel like targeting the market or the people that we do helps across the board to create better communities, prepare them, and also do our portion as an institution,” Lola Florez, a teacher trainer, said

And she would know.

“So I am from the Dominican Republic and I joined the military at the age of 19 and that’s where I made my big jump from the Caribbean into the U.S.,” she said.

When she finished her military duties she thought about what she wanted to do with her life and she heard of Tricoci University.

“As soon as I got out, I’m like, I got a blank slate. What do I want to do with my life? What is it that I want to build from here? So something that I’ve always had a passion for was hair, not just because of the technical portion, but also helping people feel better about themselves. And it went along with human resources, which is what I did in the military. So I was able to bridge that knowledge and use it in my civilian life,” she said.

So on top of the services given to veterans, active military, or front-line workers. They also want to help veterans transition back into civilian life.

“So that free coaching veterans program allows veterans to continue education and after their military tenure so it really helps them transition from the military into building careers it supports them and it’s something that is not being used as much. So we love for them to explore,” Florez said.

And it’s not just about giving or getting a haircut.

“A lot of these veterans that we do have come over, they understand that it’s not just about their hair or their shampoo. It’s also about having that establishment where they feel safe. They can feel understood. So it’s part of their self-care program,” she said. “It’s also, you know, come talk to us, connect with us, see what else we got going on that you may be interested in just so that they build that support and that’s the feedback that we have received. So it makes it a more, it makes you more passionate or everybody in the team.”

“For me really just making sure our veterans, active military, front-line workers everyone in a service position knows that from the bottom of our hearts we’re thankful for everything you do and it’s our way to show through our craft and our passion a way to care for you,” Lantz said.