Portage Lakes Career Center


CAREER TECH WORKS! - Meet Morgan Kennedy

When Morgan Kennedy, 20, was a high school freshman, she became fascinated by horror
movies. “I started watching YouTube videos about special effects, how to make bruises and
scars,” she said. “Then, I found out that you could actually have a career doing makeup for

The recent graduate of a prestigious special effects (SFX) program credits PLCC’s cosmetology
program for giving her the skills, support, and confidence to follow her dreams.

It was an eighth-grade class visit to PLCC that sparked her interest. “I was attracted to the
cosmetology program because I was very close to my grandmother who was a cosmetologist.
She told me that it was a great opportunity, one that I shouldn’t pass up.”

An honor student with a 4.0 GPA, Morgan applied to PLCC because she already had enough
credits to graduate. “I wanted to spend my junior and senior years exploring something that
interested me. I immediately loved PLCC because I was surrounded by people who shared my
passion for cosmetology. I became very close with my classmates and with my instructor, Mrs.

In her spare time, Morgan practiced special effects on herself, her sister, and her best friend.
“I’d come in the next day and show Mrs. Berger–who definitely isn’t a fan of horror–pictures on
my phone. To this day, I still text her about my accomplishments.”

After graduation, armed with her cosmetology license, Morgan moved to Monessen, Pa., to
attend the Tom Savini SFX Makeup Program at the Douglas Education Center (DEC). The
two-year associate-degree program was created by legendary film makeup artist, Tom Savini,
known for his work on Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th, and other modern-day horror movies.

Her experience at PLCC helped give her an edge in college. “In cosmetology, I had to learn
most of the bones in the body. When I took my college anatomy class, I already had the bones

After earning her associate degree from DEC’s SFX program, Morgan is preparing to move to
New Jersey to work in a sculpting shop. “Sculpting is a big part of special effects as artists
create things like props, figurines, eyeballs, teeth, and prosthetics for faces.” Her five-year plan
is to be creating animatronics for Disney World.

“The cosmetics program at PLCC was a great foundation for me,” Morgan said. “In the industry,
there’s a great demand for cosmetologists and special effects artists. If it’s a union movie,
they’re strict about special effects doing makeup, and cosmetology dealing with hair and nails.


With a cosmetology license and a degree in special effects, I’m very marketable, especially if
there’s a tight budget. I can do it all so they only have to hire one person.”

Morgan believes that PLCC is a great option for high school students who have an interest in
something–and those who don’t. “It’s a good way to see if you truly want to make a career out of your passion, or you just might discover a path that you wouldn’t have been exposed to in a typical high school

Schedule a Tour

We take pride in our facility and welcome the opportunity to show it off!  You would never buy a car without looking at it first.  Choosing the place to give you a head start on a successful path in life should be no different.  We invite you to schedule a tour of our beautiful campus.  We’re pretty sure you’ll be impressed!

If you are a high school student, please note that you will have several opportunities to visit PLCC during your sophomore year.

Once we receive your request, a PLCC staff member will follow up directly. Thank you for your interest, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Portage Lakes Career Center is accessible to visitors with physical disabilities. Visitors should contact the Main Office at 330-896-8200 prior to arrival for parking instructions and other information.