Sydell & Arnold Miller Family Foundation Announces Scholarship Winners

May 3, 2018 | 1:42 PM
Caitlyn Draper
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Robin Butler
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Kaitlyn Knavel
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Mariela Sainz Gutierrez
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Denisse Villalvazo
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Laura Pascazio
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Holly Moretti
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Heather Tabor
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  Left: Sydell L. Miller and Arnold M. Miller, co-founders of Matrix Essentials
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One year after announcing a major gift supporting the future of beauty and wellness education, the Sydell & Arnold Miller Family Foundation announces its inaugural scholarship winners during America’s Beauty Show in Chicago.  

 Selected by a panel of leading salon professionals, the eight scholarship winners will become the first beneficiaries of the Millers’ $1,000,000, 10-year commitment to fund tuition scholarships for cosmetology students, esthetics students and licensed hairstylists. Inspired by Sydell Miller and her late husband Arnold (Arnie) Miller’s commitment to lifelong learning, the scholarships underscore the role of education in achieving long-term success across a professional’s journey, from aspiring artist  to accomplished professional.

The scholarship winners and their respective schools are as follows:

2018 “Arnold M. Miller Find-A-Way” Student Scholarship Winner

Caitlyn Draper, Austin, Texas, Avenue Five Institute.  

Celebrating the “find-a-way” attitude and entrepreneurial spirit that defined Arnold Miller’s career as a businessman, brand leader and hairstylist, the scholarship funds up to $25,000 toward the winner’s cosmetology school tuition.

  2018 “Fashion Forward” Hairdressing Student Scholarship Winners

  • Robin Butler, Henderson, N.C., Paul Mitchell the SchoolRaleigh  
  • Kaitlyn Knavel, LaHarpe, Kan., Fort Scott Community College
  • Mariela Sainz Gutierrez, Las Vegas, Nev., Expertise Cosmetology Institute
  • Denisse Villalvazo, Los Angeles, Calif., Tony & Guy Hairdressing Academy

Exemplifying the phrase “fashion forward,” the scholarship honors personal style and artistry, funding 50% of each winner’s cosmetology school tuition, up to $10,000 per award.

 2018 “Sydell L. Miller Total Image” Esthetic Scholarship Winner

Laura Pascazio, Summerville, S.C., Charleston Cosmetology Institute

Honoring Sydell Miller’s prescient insight that skincare, esthetic treatments, cosmetics and body care would emerge as key growth drivers in the professional salon and spa industry, the tuition scholarship award is valued at up to $15,000.

  2018 “Student for Life Advanced Cosmetology” Scholarship Winners (Licensed Professionals)

Holly Moretti, Phoenix, Ariz. and Heather Tabor, Dripping Springs, Texas

Respecting Arnold Miller’s philosophy of being a student throughout life’s journey, each scholarship awards $5,000 toward an advanced educational program at a beauty school, advanced academy or manufacturer’s academy program.

Remarking on behalf of the Sydell & Arnold Miller Family Foundation, Sydell Miller said, “Our scholarship program calls attention to the lifelong learning and professional development that are hallmarks of success in the professional beauty business. Throughout our years in business, Arnie and I felt very strongly about investing in the professional development of the hairstylists and estheticians who used our products.” she said. “As the professional beauty industry continues to evolve, the demand for knowledge is only accelerating.” Miller added, “My daughters, Lauren Spilman and Stacie Halpern, and I are so proud to help this next generation of beauty professionals elevate their careers.” 

 Congratulating the winners on their accomplishments, Beauty Changes Lives Foundation President Lynelle Lynch encouraged them to follow the Millers’ model of perseverance and generosity. “The determination and humanitarian spirit demonstrated by Arnold and Sydell Miller inspires and challenges all of us working in the beauty and wellness sector,” she said. “Their legacy continues to influence a new generation of leaders to never give up but always give back.” In 2017, the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation named Sydell and Arnold Miller the first co-recipients of the Legacy Award. Presented annually during America’s Beauty Show, the award recognizes trailblazers whose careers exemplify lifelong learning. Previous Legacy Award honorees include Howard Murad, M.D., Leo Passage, Tippi Hedren and Vidal Sassoon.

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 



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