By TJ Meyers
CCC Journalism Program

BELLMAWR – A Bellmawr native counts the days before taking the final test prior to becoming a full-time hairdresser.

Kelsey Harkins, a 20-year-old Bellmawr native, is counting down the days until she takes her final test to get her cosmetology license. Currently working as an assistant, Harkins can’t wait to take her test so she can start cutting hair.

“I’m so nervous, but I (want to) get it over with so I can actually cut hair and not just sweep up.” she said with a laugh.

The musically driven Harkins graduated with the Triton High School Class of 2009 as well as attended Bell Oaks Middle School in Bellmawr. Growing up she was mostly about sports, but these days Harkins is all about the music. She is an avid John Mayer fan and enjoys playing guitar and writing songs in her spare time.

“I’ll always love music.” Harkins expressed. “It says the things we may not have the courage to say at the time. Sometimes a good song is all it takes to turn the (expletive) day around.”

Harkins has also worked at Times Square Bagel in Bellmawr for the last five years but hopes becoming a full-time barber will take up much of her time upon getting licensed.

“I’ll miss working there, but it’s not like I’ll never see the people I work with ever again, I mean it’s right around the corner from my house.” Harkins joked.

As to what the most important thing in her life up until this point has been, Harkins said, “My niece Ava is my pride and joy. My sister makes fun of me all the time for trying to steal her daughter,” Harkins said with a laugh. “We always have so much fun playing the same games I used to play when I was her age. I love her.”

Danielle McCleery, a co-worker, was asked about Harkins and joked, “(I) love her. She’s so funny and I can always count on her for a laugh, even if it is when she’s making fun of me.”

Described by those who know her best as a “people person,” Harkins said this about becoming a full-time hair stylist: “I love meeting new people and making them look and feel their best. My career will be having conversations with people while doing what I love to do, cut hair. Getting paid for it is just a perk.”

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