Photo via Instagram.
Photo via Instagram.

The Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship continues to honor Vidal Sassoon’s passion for professional education as it celebrates the milestone of awarding 100 Advanced scholarships. The Beauty Changes Lives Foundation and Wella’s Hairdressers at Heart are proud to announce the winners of the Fall 2017 Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education “Advanced” Scholarship.

Since Wella established the scholarship program in 2013, the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation has awarded 100 Advanced scholarships to licensed hairstylists.

Each Advanced winner’s scholarship includes a five-day learning experience at a Vidal Sassoon Academy in North America.

The Fall 2017 Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education scholarship winners are:     

Angelica Aviliez-Cecilio, Westminster, Calif.

Specializing in hairstyles for special occasions and events, Angelica’s objective is to give every client a feeling of confidence they didn’t have before sitting in her chair. She says the scholarship will allow her to learn, develop and create techniques that empower her clients and her own passion for lifelong learning. “Behind my chair I am a hairstylist, but beyond my chair I will always be a student who wants to make the person in my chair an individual who wants to conquer the world,” says Angelica.


Jessica Duarte, Lakeville, Mass.

A hairstylist at Makeovers Salon and Spa, Jessica identifies with the modest beginnings that fueled Vidal Sassoon’s career. “It was hairdressing that allowed me to pursue my passion, get out of poverty and live a successful life while providing for my daughter,” says Jessica who has been a licensed hairstylist for 11 years. Looking to the future, Jessica says receiving the Vidal Sassoon Advanced scholarship will bring her craft to the next level and help her continue to change the lives of her clients.

Madison Gillespie, Surrey, British Columbia.

A hairstylist at Union Salon, Madison credits Vidal Sassoon for “flipping the industry of hairstyling into an art form.” Madison says hairdressing is the perfect art form to channel her creativity. But it is the smiles from her clients that make her craft most rewarding. “The smiles from clients make standing 10 hours behind a chair worth every minute,” says Madison.


Beverly Iwuala, Katy, Texas

A hairstylist at Image Salon Studios, Beverly believes in the freedom that comes with risk taking and following one’s passion and calling. A newcomer to the industry – she has been a licensed stylist for one year – Beverly says that hairdressers transform clients from the inside out. “Ultimately, hairdressers’ work goes far beyond what the eye can see and we touch not just clients’ hair, but their hearts,” she says.

Danielle Johnson, Philadelphia, Pa.

A hairstylist at MADE Barber Parlor and Beauty Salon, and a licensed hairstylist for 25 years, Danielle still remembers the excitement she felt upon receiving a Vidal Sassoon blow dryer for her 12th birthday. “This scholarship will help me partake in Vidal Sassoon’s legacy, hard work and the passion he put into his brand,” she says. Danielle passes her passion forward as she teaches new hairstylists about the industry and supports women experiencing hair loss through providing them with beautifully cut and styled wigs.

Rosiry Mercedes, Ocala, Fl.

After eight years working as a salon receptionist, Rosiry’s “aha moment” came when she attended the Premiere show in Orlando. After graduating beauty school and earning her license six months ago, Rosiry says she is alive with the “fire and desire” that comes with working behind the chair at Urban Hair Studio. “This scholarship is an amazing jumpstart for me as a new artist and I vow to stay humble and coachable as I help guests see how fabulous and fearless they can be with a new haircut,” says Rosiry.

Chevelle Memmel, Slinger, Wis.

As a color educator and hairstylist at Clark Richard Salon, Chevelle loves being the “best part of someone’s day,” and values the intimacy that exists in the hairstylist/client relationship. “As hairstylists, we are an escape from everyday life for our clients,” says Chevelle, noting the weddings, graduations and special events she helps her clients celebrate. Chevelle looks forward to sharing what she learns from her Vidal Sassoon scholarship experience with her salon family. “This scholarship is an opportunity for everyone in our salon to experience the beauty of sharing education,” says Chevelle.

Taylor Vanoeffelen, Rockford, Mich.

As a child, Taylor saw how the salon her mom owned changed people’s lives, long before she began working at Douglas J. Aveda Institute. She also saw the tremendous generosity that exists within the salon environment. Today, Taylor continues to give back to an organization that supports individuals living with cancer. “Cancer can strip so much self-confidence and self-love and I love being part of helping someone look and feel better,” she remarks. “This industry is all about education and I never want to stop learning because cosmetology is my passion.”


Nicole Welborn, Justin, Texas

Prior to joining the beauty industry, Nicole was a domestic violence counselor. Seeing the connection between an individual’s self-care and self-confidence inspired Nicole to make a career change. As a colorist at Beauty Hive Studio, Inside Salons by JC, Nicole has a passion for how the art and science of color can make a client’s vision a reality. “I believe that a really great haircut can make color even better,” says Nicole. She looks forward to learning the precision cutting techniques that made Vidal Sassoon a game changer in the industry.


Samantha Wester, Campbell, Calif.

Bullied as a child, Samantha tested out of high school and enrolled in cosmetology school at age 16. Twelve years later, Samantha uses her place behind the chair as a channel to encourage and empower others at Oz A Salon in San Jose. Eventually, Samantha aspires to become an educator and use the art, expression and creativity of hairstyling to help her clients become the best version of themselves.


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