School Director: Salon Success Academy ‘Saved my Life’
San Bernardino School Director Natalie Ramirez Guiza is passionate about Salon Success Academy because she says the school “saved my life.”
Natalie was a single mom, on her own with three children and no child support. Married at 18, Natalie’s job had been mom for a long time when her world was thrown into turmoil. She knew she had to do something if she was going to raise her kids on her own; she just didn’t know what.
“When I saw the word ‘success’ in the school’s name, it gave me hope,” said Natalie. “Going to school didn’t just give me what I needed for a career; it helped me get through the days at a really difficult time of my life.”
Natalie said that she’d explored other schools before settling on Salon Success Academy.
“All the other schools made me feel like a number,” said Natalie, “but from the very start Salon Success Academy made me feel like I mattered. They made me feel like part of a family.”
After she completed her program and was ready to set out as a professional cosmetologist, Natalie reached back to that family for a reference. Instead, Chief Operating Officer Christina Belcher offered her a job. Christina was looking for an assistant and she thought Natalie would be a perfect match. Natalie wasn’t so sure. She knew cosmetology, thanks to Salon Success Academy, but she didn’t know anything about helping to run a beauty school.
“I quit twice in the first two weeks,” said Natalie.
Natalie said that with only a high school diploma and her cosmetology license, she didn’t feel qualified to take on the responsibilities Christina needed her to.
“I quit because I was afraid,” said Natalie. “But Christina told me she’d fired two people with master’s degrees before she’d hired me. She said, ‘not everyone can do this job, Natalie, but you can.’ She believed in me and after she said that, I believed in myself.”
Now as a school director, Natalie often thinks back to the days when she first walked through the doors at Salon Success Academy.
“New students come in looking for hope and reassurance,” said Natalie. “I can tell them, ‘I was right where you are and if I can do it, you can, too.”
According to Natalie, students need to be goal-oriented and determined, but she has watched so many succeed at Salon Success Academy and in the industry, she knows what’s possible.
“Some of the students come in not even knowing how to hold a pair of scissors,” said Natalie, “but then soon they’re performing full services.”
“This can be a great career,” said Natalie. “There are so many opportunities in the beauty industry for them to make a living.”
Natalie didn’t know where her training at Salon Success Academy would lead her when she first started out. She was just hoping for a better life — and she found it.
If you’re interested in a career in the beauty industry, check out our cosmetology and esthetics programs. At Salon Success Academy, you’re not just a number; we want you to become part of the family!
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