Hometown: Bloomington, Ill.
Representing the United States at WorldSkills in Hairdressing
Rebekah Hagberg’s family is no stranger to hairdressing. As early as fifth grade, Rebekah remembers playing with her Grandma Stienbaugh’s mannequin heads. Since then, she’s received her first pair of hair clippers and shears from her Grandma Hagberg, interned at her aunt’s hair salon, and has inherited the role of her family’s go-to stylist.
“As I grew older, I began watching countless YouTube videos about hair and kept learning new braids and hairstyling techniques. Doing hair came pretty easy to me, and I love doing it!”
Rebekah honed her skill as the unofficial hairstylist for her cheerleading team competitions, and continued practicing techniques on her friends for school dances and other special events. “It’s the job of being an artist, but with the media of hair. It is so rewarding when your client is just as excited and delighted about the finished result as you are, and it puts a smile on their face.”
Rebekah plans to obtain an associate’s degree in business administration in preparation for owning her own salon. But as she prepares for WorldSkills competition and the future, she remains grounded in her faith.
“I want to honor God with the talents He has given me. Whether it’s a haircut that makes a client feel refreshed or an up-do for a special event, serving others and bringing them joy definitely brings me the most joy. I always seek to do my very best – I love learning, and I want to always strive to keep growing.”
On competing in the WorldSkills competition:
“Being chosen to represent the United States at WorldSkills is a huge honor. I look forward to the challenge of expanding my own skills in preparing for the competition. Competing in WorldSkills is an opportunity that few people have, and I know it will better my life experience and enrich my skills and knowledge as a hairdresser.”
Advice for others:
“Do not give up when it gets hard. I didn’t start out with the skills I have today – it all takes time, practice and patience.”
On SkillsUSA’s role:
“I have been involved in SkillsUSA since I was a junior in high school, and I have gained so much from it. Not only has the organization helped prepare me for my career, it has also taught me valuable time management skills, how to work well under pressure, and how to make critical decisions on the spot.”