Hundreds of students gathered around The Runway at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago recently to hear stories and advice from industry legends. This year, Beauty Changes Lives paired practicing hair stylists, educators and business visionaries with beauty school students to showcase how beauty is truly changing lives.

These mentors and mentees started out the presentation for the day. One by one, all of them took the stage and talked about what beauty meant to them, and how it has impacted their lives. After the initial presentation, Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND took the stage with her mentee, Cheyanne Birchall. “Cheyanne was a student in a CND Shellac workshop and she shared her love for cosmetology to a room full of beauty professionals. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house! After the workshop, I invited her to a couture nail event. Cheyanne’s contribution emotionally and physically was great! She decorated some of the nail designs, and her commitment and passion made her stand out from the rest.” Arnold said she looks forward to working with her in the future. “To all beauty school students, the sky is the limit in this industry! Be dedicated and you will go far!”

Celebrity Stylist Diana Schmidtke, who styles the coifs of various leading male celebrities (including Seth McFarland at the Oscars!) took the stage next with her mentee, Leonor Del Casillo. Schmidtke who gave insight into the world of celebrity grooming, also talked about how much the Beauty Changes Lives program means to her. Schmidtke said to the audience, “Your options after graduating are endless. If you feel lost after graduating, we, at Beauty Changes Lives, want to stress to you that we are here for you. There is nothing that excites me more than helping future beauty professionals find success.”

Beauty Changes Lives is offering 20 basic scholarships and 20 advanced scholarships each year to students. Beauty Changes Lives Foundation President Lynelle Lynch talked about the Beauty Changes Lives Scholarship Program and the Beauty Changes Lives Mentorship Scholarship, where a student has the opportunity to win a day with a mentor (this year it’s CND's Jan Arnold and Johnny Wright—hair stylist to Michele Obama). She also touched on the Vidal Sassoon Beauty Education Workshop where a student could win advanced education training to The Sassoon Academy, a $5,000 investment. “The generosity of leaders in our industry is truly redefining what a scholarship experience is all about. We’re not just providing funding, but connecting today’s biggest names in beauty with tomorrow’s talent through successful mentoring experiences,” she says.

Update: Beauty Changes Lives Event at America's Beauty Show 2013The announcement of the Vidal Sassoon Beauty Education Workshop was a nice leeway to the last presenter, Vidal Sassoon’s son Élan Sassoon, owner of six salons on the East Coast and founder of hair care line, Sojourn. Sassoon remarked on the creativity, craftsmanship and commitment to education that defined his father’s legendary career. He announced a $1.5M grant by Wella, the salon professional division of P&G, that will fund the Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship Program.

The program will award five-day advanced training courses at Sassoon Academy’s to selected licensed cosmetologists. For aspiring beauty professionals, the Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship Program will award 50 percent of cosmetology school tuition to 20 recipients annually thru 2017.

Sassoon’s presentation touched on the events and achievements of his father’s life. “My father supported and believed in the education of youth and he was the ultimate optimist,” says Sassoon. “I remember my father used to say, success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of interest or enthusiasm.” Sassoon shared other words of inspiration to the students, and even shared some lighthearted stories he shared with his father.

The Beauty Changes Lives Foundation is supported through donations of time, talent and treasure by some of the world’s biggest names in beauty including Wella, Hairdressers at Heart, Massage Envy, CND, Dr. Howard Murad, celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson and celebrity stylist/male grooming authority Diana Schmidtke.

Individuals can learn more about careers in beauty and wellness as well as scholarships by visiting www.beautychangeslives.org, becoming a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/BeautyChangesLives or following Beauty Changes Lives on Twitter @BtyChangesLives.