How We Change Lives
It took me quite some time to find my creative niche but I finally realized that my dream was to do hair. I knew of a few local beauty schools but if I’m going to do something I like to do it all the way so I wanted to go to the best. I looked online, Googled beauty academies, and that’s how I found Paul Mitchell.
I live in Toledo, Ohio, and the only locations close to me were either Columbus, Ohio, or Sterling Heights, Michigan. I figured it couldn't hurt to try so I made an appointment to take a tour of the Sterling Heights school. Monica gave me the tour and I fell in love. For the first time in my life I felt as though I was in the right place at the right time. Monica informed me of the cost of tuition and in a moment my dreams were crushed because there was no way I could ever afford it. When I got to my car I cried, then I prayed the whole trip home for a miracle.
This was just the first hurdle to get over; there were many more to come. I applied for financial aid and got approved. I’ve honestly never been so happy in my life. I was working second shift at the time and the only way for me to go to school was if I switched to third shift, so I asked my boss and he obliged. One thing after another, everything fell into place, which further proved to me that this was fate. I began school in November 2008. I was working from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. To get to school by 8:45 a.m., I had to shower and get dressed at work (I work at a hotel), go straight to school, attend class for eight hours, drive another hour and thirty minutes back to Toledo, and sleep two or three hours. I did this five days a week and worked a second job on the weekends to afford the gas. At the time, relocating to Sterling Heights was just not an option.
The winter months took a toll on me. Driving in the snow with all the Michigan drivers (LOL) terrified me. Sometime in December or January I got into an accident that caused a lot of damage to my car that I couldn’t afford to fix, but I continued to risk it for a few more days and drove to school anyway. A day or two after the accident I was on my way to class, slipped and fell in the hall, and hurt my ankle pretty bad. I realized things weren’t going to work out for me right then so I requested a leave of absence. When I was able to return to class I let go of my apartment and moved in with a friend to save money. I began having more problems with my car and in the meantime the hotel where I was working was threatening to lay me off. It once again looked as though my dreams were going to be crushed. I confided in my ex-husband (he and I are still great friends) about my fears about not being able to finish school again. He paid to have everything on my car fixed and works six or seven days a week with overtime to help me with my car note and gas money.
I don’t feel stressed or bitter for having to go through so much or work so hard. I feel extremely grateful. I’ve been given such an amazing opportunity and I’m just happy to be here. My whole life revolves around my future career and this school. I have a ten-year plan. Directly from school I’d like to go to Las Vegas or California to work for Robert Cromeans, then head to Chicago to open my own salon, named Victoria after my mother. From there I plan to branch out to a product line called Vicki and someday a cosmetic line. I have so much ambition and drive. Come what obstacles may, I know I’ll make it. This is my passion, my focus. It means everything to me.