“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
A few months ago, Claudia Hubbard and Jennifer Watkins, both instructors for the Cosmetology program at the Fairfield Township Campus, received a request from Rebekah Ealy from Butler County Educational Service Center’s Success Program. Ealy shared that in her role as a Community Liaison, she works to help students and parents overcome non-cognitive barriers they are facing that are preventing success in school. She shared that she knew several students at Amanda Elementary School in Middletown that needed haircuts, noting that haircuts and other personal care can feel like “extras” or “non-essentials,” especially during trying financial times.
The trio immediately began brainstorming ideas and connected over the idea of providing a salon experience for these young students and also an opportunity for them to learn more about Butler Tech and careers so they can dream big for their futures!
“Many of our students come from difficult backgrounds and experiences that stifle their drive to dream,” shared Ealy. “Our school knew that giving our students the opportunity to see more of Butler Tech and to be exposed to the many programs that it offers, would be an inspirational experience.”
On their scheduled salon day, the students arrived at the Butler Tech Cosmetology lab and were immediately treated to a variety of services including shampoo, cut, blow-dry, manicures, and more.
“Our students were cared for like celebrities in the salon and “oohed” and “aahed” over as they confidently showed off their new looks,” said Ealy. “A huge thank you goes out to any and all of the Butler Tech students and staff members who interacted with our students throughout the day! They were the kindest people and they showed genuine interest in our children. A priceless experience for a child who isn’t shown often enough how valuable and special he/she truly is!”
After their star treatment in the salon, the students were given a short tour of the D. Russel Lee and School of the Arts campuses by Cosmetology Student Ambassadors. They were able to see high school students in action in some of the labs such as Automotive Technology and Mechatronics and even caught a VIP sneak peek of a performance rehearsal in the event center.
“Those moments made such big impacts!” said Ealy. “When I say that the lab tours were life-changing for some of these children, that is no exaggeration! Since our trip, I’ve heard nothing but chatter about their plans to study at Butler Tech when they are old enough.”
Below are some of the best quotes from these young dreamers…
“The best part was seeing all the different things we can learn.”
“I learned that there are so many things you can do. Not just one thing.”
“I think I really want to be a hairstylist now!”
“The pizza was way better than our pizza here at school!”
“My haircut is so awesome!” (Insert hair flip)
“ROBOTS ARE THE COOLEST!”
“So much of what they wanted to share, aligned with the core goal of our trip, ‘inspiring dreamers.’ That means the world to us here at Amanda Elementary because that’s why we do what we do every day,” she explained. “I can envision many of these students walking the halls of Butler Tech in 5 or 6 years, building the futures they are dreaming about today.”