A Haircut for the Price of a Smile
Salon Success Academy graduate Cheri Taylor can give up to 25 haircuts in a single night in her volunteer work for the East San Gabriel Valley Homeless Coalition but says she gets far more than she gives.
“They are the most grateful, polite, respectable people I have ever met,” said Cheri. “They all ask — how much for the haircut? And I tell them, it will cost you a smile.”
Cheri works as a hair stylist and a waitress, but goes to the coalition shelters on her nights off. She says she sets up in a corner of the host church and does what she can to help those who have fallen on hard times. Cheri gives haircuts to men going out on job interviews or who just need to be cleaned up a bit.
“They are the sweetest, most gentle men,” said Cheri. “It’s what keeps me going.”
Cheri’s road to her unique volunteerism all started at Salon Success Academy. Cheri said, “doing hair was a passion I had my whole life,” but it took her awhile to get the training she needed to become a licensed cosmetologist.
“Salon Success Academy prepared me so well,” said Cheri.
While Cheri is grateful to the school and its instructors for the technical skills they taught her, she credits Salon Success Academy even more for helping her come out of her shell.
“I was shy and introverted when I got there,” said Cheri. “They boosted my confidence and I came alive. I was a whole new me.”
Before Cheri graduated from cosmetology school in 2011, she had become an ambassador for Salon Success Academy, giving tours and helping out on the first day of school.
Cheri’s path to the East San Gabriel Valley Homeless Coalition wasn’t quite as pleasant or life-affirming. In a moment of utter frustration while raising her teenage son Luke, she took him to the homeless shelter and dropped him off.
“The homeless men I’ve met are the most grateful people and they have nothing. My son has everything,” explained Cheri.
She wanted to open his eyes — and she did.
“One night of being there changed his life,” said Cheri.
It changed hers, too.
“He left, but I stayed,” said Cheri. “And now I’m being offered a job. I will be working for a program that offers women and children of domestic violence a safe shelter. I’m just following my heart,” said Cheri.
Cheri gives back because she is so thankful for all she’s been given. She’s particularly glad she was given a solid foundation in cosmetology from the teachers at Salon Success Academy.
Salon Success Academy Celebrates Valentine’s Day
The campuses of Salon Success Academy were abuzz with Valentine activity in February. Students participated in contests and competitions, including a hair-styling contest and a makeup competition aptly named “My Bloody Valentine.” The participants all brought their A-game to the fun and festivities.
About Salon Success Academies
Salon Success Academy offers five locations in California’s Inland Empire, in Redlands, Fontana, Upland, San Bernardino, and Corona. Our mission at SSA involves caring for every student as a member of our family, furnishing the chance to finish their educational objectives as affordably as possible. SSA incorporates first-hand, real-world practice of the principles of cosmetology, skin care, and nail artistry. The campus teams with members of the beauty industry to educate our graduates on the technical and customer service skills they need to succeed in their careers.