‘People don’t tell you who they are; they show you’: Vinemont’s Ally Banks looks back on high school years

Vinemont’s Ally Banks. (Courtesy of Ally Banks)

VINEMONT, Ala. — In this interview, I talked to Vinemont senior Ally Banks. She was involved in cosmetology at CATA for three years and talked about that experience and some of what she learned.

“I went to CATA for three years, which has given a lot of opportunities and I have made so many friends. Through the cosmetology program, I competed in the SkillsUSA competition the last two years, in which I won district both times. This year, I won state, so I am advancing to the SkillsUSA in Atlanta this June. I have no doubt the CATA cosmetology program has set me up for my future career. I can’t say enough good things about Mrs. Flanigan, the cosmetology teacher. She has been such a great mentor. I will forever be grateful for all that she has done for me,” Banks said. “I got a head start on my college and I won’t have to go as long now that I went to CATA. Mrs. Flanigan taught me so much. She has always been there for me and went out of her way to help. She is such a big role model to me.”

Ally talked about some of her favorite high school memories, plus what made Vinemont a special place to go to, what she learned during her time as an Eagle, and what she’ll miss the most.

“My favorite memories were spending time in cosmetology, spending time with my boyfriend, and enjoying my last year of school with him,” Banks said. “I moved from Cold Springs to Vinemont in the middle of my ninth-grade year and they took me in like I’ve been there for my whole life. They made me love school again. I learned to always be careful in who you trust. Many of my teachers taught me to never give up, even when it’s hard. I’m very thankful for them. I will miss many of the teachers and my friends.”

Ally gave some advice to those students that will be starting high school in August. She also talked about one of her role models growing up, plus the best advice that she was ever given. She also received a pair of scholarships during her time at Vinemont and will be going to Wallace to attend the cosmetology program.

“Go out of your comfort zone and try and do things that you have wanted to do. It will definitely fly by,” she said. “My dad is one of my biggest role models. He’s always there to support me and he never misses anything. The best advice I ever received was from my mom: ‘People don’t tell you who they are; they show you’, and that is very true. I received two scholarships: Cullman Savings Bank, and for winning state at the SkillsUSA competition. When I received those scholarships, it was an honor.”

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