Beauty Changes Lives Announces Spring 2018 CosmoProf Licensed to Create Scholarship Recipients

CosmoProf and the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation are honored to announce the recipients of five Spring 2018 CosmoProf Licensed to Create Scholarships. Each scholarship winner receives a $5,000 tuition award. The winners and their respective schools are:

 <strong>Michele Aquino, Bronx, NY, Arrojo Cosmetology School</strong>

Michele Aquino, Bronx, NY, Arrojo Cosmetology School

Michele describes herself as a lover of beauty and art, but notes these two arts are actually one and the same. A make-up artist for ten years, Michele’s eyes were opened to the transforming power of beauty when she was diagnosed with alopecia. “I’m not just the girl who lost her hair, but the girl who found her way,” Michele says in her application video. Upon completing her cosmetology program, Michele aspires to follow her lifelong dream of opening an art gallery and salon. She credits her father with inspiring her to “chase what you want and love.”

 <strong>Wade Beesley, Austin, Texas, Paul Mitchell the School</strong>

Wade Beesley, Austin, Texas, Paul Mitchell the School

It wasn’t until Wade had owned a successful coffee shop for a decade, built and sold a house, worked as a bartender and carved out a reputation for designing concrete sculptures that he considered a career as a barber. “I’m talented and creative and I was looking for a solid trade, so when I met an older gentleman who was a barber, it seemed like the perfect career,” he says in his application video. Although Wade has succeeded in many jobs, he feels a natural fear toward embarking on this career. “If I’m feeling scared or anxious, I know I have to pursue it,” he says. Eventually, Wade wants to work behind a chair and provide a sense of healing, whether it’s being a friend and confidante to clients in the barber shop or setting aside one day a week to provide haircuts to people experiencing homelessness.


 Mackenzi McErlean, Jean Madeline Aveda Institute, Penn.

Mackenzi McErlean, Jean Madeline Aveda Institute, Penn.

Pursuing a career in beauty has been a winding road for McKenzie. Enrolled in nursing school, Mackenzi found the career path didn’t provide the fulfillment she desired. Next, she enrolled in an esthetics program and took a job at the front desk of a salon. That’s where her eyes were opened to the life changing work of hairstylists. “As people checked out, it was so amazing to see how not just their look but their attitude changed after an hour-long appointment,” she says. “I want to help people look and feel better, and while my days commuting to cosmetology school and working at the salon, I believe it will all be worth it,” she says. 

 <strong>Mikayla Morin, Ramona, Cali. Paul Mitchell the School – San Diego</strong>

Mikayla Morin, Ramona, Cali. Paul Mitchell the School – San Diego

Although Mikayla didn’t live with her mom as a child, beauty served as “common ground” when they spent time together. “We always experimented with hair and makeup with mixed results – some of which we wish we didn’t have proof of,” Mikayla recalls. After her mother completed a three-month rehabilitation program for alcohol addition, Mikayla spent an afternoon styling her mom’s hair and doing her make-up. “By the time we were done, she looked like my mom again,” Mikayla says. As her mom recently completed a year of sobriety, Mikayla is inspired by the connection between looking good, feeling good and having the confidence to move forward. “If you look good, you feel good. And if you feel good, you have the confidence to conquer anything,” she says.


<strong>Cheronna Towns, Santa Clarita, Calif. Paul Mitchell The School</strong>

Cheronna Towns, Santa Clarita, Calif. Paul Mitchell The School

The Scripture from the Bible’s book of Isaiah that reads, “Beauty for ashes” has a deeply personal meaning for Cheronna, whose life was forever altered in a house fire in 2014. The fire claimed the life of her two young sons and severely disabled her husband. Yet Cheronna found hope to pursue a new calling despite the devastating life events affecting her family. “I want to help others open their eyes but more important their hearts to the beauty within them,” she says. “Everyone has been through something and beauty filled me up all over again. My purpose is to fill others up through my career in beauty.”

 Introduced in 2017, the CosmoProf Licensed to Create scholarship celebrates the artistic skill and unlimited creativity of beauty professionals. Winners are selected by a judging panel representing some of the most esteemed brands in beauty. Applicants are required to submit a video describing how a career in beauty will change their life or the lives of others.

 “Cosmoprof honors the hard work and inspirational talent that thrives within this industry and the Licensed to Create Scholarship is one tool for celebrating NextGen hairstylists,” said Jennifer Wilder, vice president marketing at Cosmoprof. The scholarship is funded through generous contributions from CosmoProf customers, proceeds from Licensed to Create merchandise, and the support of brands including DevaCurl, Joico, TIGI and Wella, as well as a matching contribution from CosmoProf.

 “The dedication and passion for education these winners embody as they pursue their dreams of becoming a hairstylist is inspiring ,” said Lynelle Lynch, president of the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation. “Through the generosity of CosmoProf, each of these winners is moving closer to her career calling.”

 About the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation: With a mission to elevate, educate and empower, Beauty Changes Lives is uniting the industry and building awareness of the extraordinary career opportunities in the beauty, wellness and massage therapy industries. Learn more at or find us on Facebook


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