20th Anniversary Scholarship Winner

May 20, 2021
Tiffany Alvano

Twenty years ago, successful beauty school owner Winn Claybaugh and Paul Mitchell Chairman and Co-founder John Paul DeJoria opened their first Paul Mitchell School in Costa Mesa, California. Now the network is more than 100 schools strong, and they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary with over $2 million in full-tuition scholarships.

Locally, Paul Mitchell The School Rhode Island awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Niambi Strickland.

Niambi Strickland

Niambi Strickland is a 21 year old Boston native with a passion for fashion and all things beauty! As a Criminal Justice Major, Niambi decided it is just as important to contribute to the wellness and self care of her peers on campus and became a go-to event hairstylist at UMass Dartmouth. Invigorated to start a new career path in April 2020, Niambi created The Lace Room, a safe space for all hair types to thrive and bridge the gap between high end hair care in different communities and became a source for high end beauty supplies in her urban community. After receiving her LLC in August 2020, she has been able to help hair-preneurs gain tools to become self sufficient through hair, skin, cosmetics and through entrepreneurial thinking and action. With top of the line quality assurance from start to finish, Niambi has curated a 22 product line consisting of personalized photoshoot ready wigs, advanced vegan adhesives, innovative tools, and custom services catering to people of all ages, ethnicities and hair types, with the reward of unleashing your inner beauty!

Each year, thousands of students and team members from the nationwide network of  Paul Mitchell cosmetology schools support a variety of local and national charities with their time, talent, and energy, donating over $22 million in the past 17 years. Because of their commitment to a “giving back” culture and their dedication to service, participating schools offered full-tuition scholarships to qualified applicants who plan to use their Paul Mitchell School education to give back to their local community.

Winn Claybaugh, dean and cofounder of Paul Mitchell Schools, says, “We have an opportunity to share, and we want to recognize students who are making the world a better place.”

“We are so excited to be able to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of our PM Schools – and what better way than celebrating it with a full ride scholarship to our prestigious PMTS Rhode Island Cosmetology program!

We had so many brilliant applications which made the committee’s decision a difficult one but Niambi’s submission hit our heart strings across the board. Her passion, her determination and her mission to give back to her community made it an easy top choice for us. We have no doubt that Niambi will flourish in our program and will light this industry on fire with her passion and skill set.”

– CJ Rebecky / Director of Paul Mitchell The School Rhode Island


At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun and well rounded. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we quickly developed distance and hybrid courses to provide safe, uninterrupted, quality education and support to our students and team members. Whether delivered in person or virtually, our courses focus on important theory, practical, and business skills with an emphasis on social and community responsibility. Our learning leaders are trained to draw out the artist in our students and prepare them to enter their chosen careers as community-conscious salon, barbershop, beauty, and spa professionals.

Through our annual “FUNraising” campaign, we’ve raised and donated over $22 million in support of many charitable causes. We’ve built homes with Habitat for Humanity, helped hospitalized children through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, fed thousands of African orphans, assisted veterans and first responders, built clean water wells in struggling nations, and supported the victims of AIDS, human trafficking, breast cancer, homelessness, domestic abuse, and hundreds of other causes.

Established over 40 years ago, the Paul Mitchell network is nearly 50,000 salons strong and in 81 countries worldwide; every professional hairdresser knows the Paul Mitchell name. With the addition of more than 100 Paul Mitchell Schools, we’ve taken the world of cosmetology, esthetics, and barbering education by storm! Visit www.paulmitchell.edu to learn more.

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