Lives Changed by Scholarships

Throughout the month of August, Beauty Changes Lives' ScholarTips program is challenging beauty professionals to shape the future of the industry by sharing tips -- both financial and words of wisdom. (Read previous story about ScholarTips). Collected tips will fuel scholarships, helping make dreams possible for future beauty professionals. Salon Today thought this was a great time to check in with three BCL scholarship recipients to see how they are living out their dreams. 

Inspired by an Icon

Stylist Tara Gross

Tara Gross, a hairstylist at Salon 600 in Sayville, New York, has loved being behind the chair since she was 10 years old and her uncle became her first “haircut client”.

As a young hairstylist new to the salon floor, Tara was inspired by Vidal Sassoon’s influence on the art of hairstyling and how his career helped him travel the globe. So when she read about the Beauty Changes Lives Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship Competition funded by Wella’s “Hairdressers at Heart”, Tara channeled her creativity behind the video camera lens and produced an inspiring video application.  Her efforts landed her a Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship and a five-day course at a North American Sassoon Academy.

How has a career in beauty influenced your life? Tara notes:  I always wanted to be a hairstylist and there was a sense that this career could take me anywhere I wanted to go, far beyond the borders of my small town. Beauty isn’t confined by borders. Vidal Sassoon traveled the world with his shears, changing his life and the lives of countless others. Whether I’m visiting a school in New York, traveling to a show, or one-day traveling the globe, beauty is opening up new possibilities. “

Diary of a Celeb Mentorship Experience

Marilynn Tran (right) with Vivienne Mackinder

“An amazing” unforgettable experience.” That’s how Beauty Changes Lives Mentorship winner Marilynn Tran described her mentoring experience with celebrity hairstylist, editorial stylist and founder of Vivienne Mackinder.

Marilynn’s mentoring experience took her from the Pacific Northwest to Vivienne’s New York studio, where she rubbed elbows with leading salon owners seeking to advance their career paths. The three-day immersive workshop included elements of technique and artistry as well as insight on the importance of hairdressers continually “reinventing” their creative style.

And the experience provided insight into wisdom that can only be learned behind the chair. Vivienne told me, “Sometimes you will win and sometimes you will learn,” recalls Marilynn.

How Beauty Changed My Life

Anthony Johnson working on a client.

Anthony Johnson says beauty has not only led him to an amazing my career, but has helped define his life’s purpose. “I like to think about beauty in terms of being reborn and given a second opportunity to not only get my own life right but make a difference in the lives of others,” he says.

Sometimes second chances take a while to come around. Fresh out of high school, Anthony turned down an opportunity to go to beauty school, and it was another 10  years before he learned of the Beauty Changes Lives scholarships.  “When I was notified that I had received a BCL scholarship, it was complete affirmation that my career was moving on the right direction,” says Anthony.

As a cosmetologist/barber, Anthony is enjoying the opportunities dual licensure offers. “Studying cosmetology has developed my barbering skills and opened me up to expanded cutting techniques far beyond the clipper zone. I am developing a two-edged sword approach to my career.”

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