Michelle’s Story
Michelle’s Story

After starting the esthetics program at the Academy at Austin, A Paul Mitchell Partner School (now Paul Mitchell The School Austin) on April 1, 2008, I quickly hit a downward spiral. I was in a very abusive relationship and working nights to help pay for school. I was so tired and it was such a struggle, but I started every morning early and with a smile. It was sad to have to attend beauty college with bruises on my face, though.

On Mother’s Day, my husband left me for another woman. Then one day while I was in school, he locked me out of my home. He continued to play emotional games and I eventually had to warn the school and get a protective order. Now a single mother with no place to take my children, trying to get into a safe house with no luck, and bound and determined to not let go of my dream, I pressed on. I sent my children to live with family, and I lived in my car. I showered in the esthetics shower. I cried myself to sleep every night, and I prayed every morning in the school parking lot. I thanked God for giving me another day there and asked him to give me the strength and way to keep going.

A single mother with no place to take my children, trying
to get into a safe house with no luck, and bound
and determined to not let go of my dream, I pressed on.

The school did what they could to help. I got $1,000 from the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation and was eventually able to get into an apartment and out of the car. The financial aid team got me grant money to pay for school. The owner was very supportive and the instructors were amazing support.

I was ALWAYS the first to finish the CDs, go to fundraisers, and volunteer. I finished school nearly two months early and was the first in my class to graduate. I did it with over 100% attendance and I was in the honors classes.

It is now my goal to GIVE BACK. I want to help other
abused women know that they, too, can do it.

It is now my goal to GIVE BACK. I want to help other abused women know that they, too, can do it. I have two girls; my eldest is now working trying to help me pay bills. My youngest begs me to allow her to walk dogs in the neighborhood to help as well. We try hard to ALWAYS see the positive. Some of the neighbors found out what I do for a living and asked that I wax their eyebrows. They wanted to pay me but I know they have no money, so I did not make them pay. I volunteer at a pregnancy crisis center, so I spent one day giving all the employees free facials. I am not really in the position to do a lot, but I promise that I will continue.

I recently got a for-commission position at a salon, and I honestly feel like it is where I am supposed to be. I go there every morning and work VERY hard. Since this has started, I have not said NO, and it has paid off and I have somehow found a way. I find myself touching lives all around me, and people just seem to listen to me. It’s amazing! I am still struggling, but I just do not see it that way. I am so blessed.

Michelle’s Story >

After starting the esthetics program at the Academy at Austin, A Paul Mitchell Partner School (now Paul Mitchell The School Austin) on April 1, 2008, I quickly hit a downward spiral. I was in a very abusive relationship and working nights to help pay for school. I was so tired and it was such a struggle, but I started every morning early and with a smile. It was sad to have to attend beauty college with bruises on my face, though.

On Mother’s Day, my husband left me for another woman. Then one day while I was in school, he locked me out of my home. He continued to play emotional games and I eventually had to warn the school and get a protective order. Now a single mother with no place to take my children, trying to get into a safe house with no luck, and bound and determined to not let go of my dream, I pressed on. I sent my children to live with family, and I lived in my car. I showered in the esthetics shower. I cried myself to sleep every night, and I prayed every morning in the school parking lot. I thanked God for giving me another day there and asked him to give me the strength and way to keep going.

A single mother with no place to take my children, trying
to get into a safe house with no luck, and bound
and determined to not let go of my dream, I pressed on.

The school did what they could to help. I got $1,000 from the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation and was eventually able to get into an apartment and out of the car. The financial aid team got me grant money to pay for school. The owner was very supportive and the instructors were amazing support.

I was ALWAYS the first to finish the CDs, go to fundraisers, and volunteer. I finished school nearly two months early and was the first in my class to graduate. I did it with over 100% attendance and I was in the honors classes.

It is now my goal to GIVE BACK. I want to help other
abused women know that they, too, can do it.

It is now my goal to GIVE BACK. I want to help other abused women know that they, too, can do it. I have two girls; my eldest is now working trying to help me pay bills. My youngest begs me to allow her to walk dogs in the neighborhood to help as well. We try hard to ALWAYS see the positive. Some of the neighbors found out what I do for a living and asked that I wax their eyebrows. They wanted to pay me but I know they have no money, so I did not make them pay. I volunteer at a pregnancy crisis center, so I spent one day giving all the employees free facials. I am not really in the position to do a lot, but I promise that I will continue.

I recently got a for-commission position at a salon, and I honestly feel like it is where I am supposed to be. I go there every morning and work VERY hard. Since this has started, I have not said NO, and it has paid off and I have somehow found a way. I find myself touching lives all around me, and people just seem to listen to me. It’s amazing! I am still struggling, but I just do not see it that way. I am so blessed.