Diversity in Esthetics Scholarship – Fall 2022 Winners

Susana Torres – $5,000 Scholarship Winner

@itsbysuzy     The Salon Professional Academy in San Jose, CA

Susie decided to start her second career and joined the aesthetics program and The Salon Professional Academy because she has always loved skincare.  She says that starting this journey now, with a son who is 21 years old and taking classes with kids his age, is very intimidating and scary.  She wanted to show her kids that it’s never too late to start following your dreams!

Her son has always had issues with acne and seeing him struggle with feelings of helplessness was a major reason she decided on this path.  Skin diversity is a huge issue and she wants to make skin care available for everyone, that skin care is not just a luxury for those who can afford it, but it is available to everyone based on needs.  She wants to work as a community to make it available to teenagers, low-income minorities and seniors who may not be able to drive or come to the spa to receive services.  She plans to use her knowledge and passion to go outside of the salon to bring skincare to them.   Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Takara Thede – $2,500 Scholarship Winner

@takarashaythede     Capri College  in Dubuque, IA

Takara states that she grew up with skin challenges and strives to create happiness through skincare.  Her goal is become an esthetician that is knowledgeable about products and ingredients and how they can be used correctly to help her clients.  “Diversity in skin is not only the shade we are, but what skin type we are, it’s not a one-size-fits-all”.  Takara explains that she is half Japanese and has combination acne prone skin, while her mother who is full Japanese has very dry skin.

She is excited that there has been a shift in inclusivity in skin care brands and can’t wait to spread her knowledge, as knowledge is power.  Winning this scholarship will help her become a licensed esthetician and begin her journey.  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Diana Taracena – $2,500 Scholarship Winner

@dlightnlove   Northwest College of Beauty in Medford, OR

Diana, as a first-generation Latina in this country, says she has overcome discrimination, adversity, and financial challenges, mostly due to the fact that her mother taught her the value of perseverance, sacrifice and dedicating long hours to honing your craft.

During the pandemic, she as well as many in this field faced true adversity. With drastically reduced income and her partner losing his job, she became the sole provider to her family. She decided to pivot and become a licensed esthetician so that she could put her passion to good use.  Winning the scholarship will help her finance this new chapter in her life.

She says she understands the challenges of having ethnic skin and being different and she is passionate about assisting people of all gender identities and beliefs.   She can’t wait to reinvent herself; help provide for her family, bring a benefit to her community and create a positive impact for those in need.  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Diversity in Esthetics Scholarship – Summer 2022 Winners

Cimma Sefat – $5,000 Scholarship Winner

@spf.always   Skyline College San Bruno, CA

Most of Cimma’s professional life, she worked in public health, which she has always been drawn to helping others. What brought her to decide on making esthetics her career path, was the ability to work closely with each client to develop a long-term one-on-one relationship while employing a skill set that can flip a person’s mindset and change their perception of self by giving them more confidence so they can be more present in their day-to-day. Making sure that there is diversity within skincare gives the esthetician the ability to support all types of individuals and bring out the best and unique versions of every client that they may encounter throughout their day.

When answering the question, how do you see the esthetics industry as a platform for diversity and inclusion, and how do you hope to make an impact? Cimma responded, “to its core, esthetics is about feeling comfortable and happy in your skin. It’s about loving the person that you see in the mirror. And I hope that by winning this scholarship PCA SKIN® knows that they are making an investment in a future esthetician that identifies as a queer multi-racial woman,” she continues with “I look forward to learning more and focusing on the care and treatment of BIPOC skin, as well as treating skin conditions for transgender and non-binary people who may be pursuing hormone therapy.” She hopes to use her platform to show potential clients that esthetics spaces are for everyone. Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Cassandra Amaro – $2,500 Scholarship Winner

@cosmeholicsxanonymous Paul Mitchell The School San Antonio, TX

Cassandra has always thought of herself as an artist and at just 17 years old, she decided to use her creative side to become a freelance makeup artist. She was soon recruited by Dillard’s and started as a beauty advisor, which led her to several management roles, and then the area cosmetic sales manager. While enrolled in her esthetics program, she currently is a store manager for Sephora and was instrumental in opening a new store in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas. She always loved makeup, but while working at Dillard’s she learned more about the skincare side of beauty. Growing up, her mom did not believe in a skin care regime, and she had no clue the importance of taking care of your skin. That’s when she realized she loved making people feel beautiful inside and out.

Now, as she is learning about esthetics and the differences in skin types, she hopes to educate her clients the importance of a skincare routine and how your lifestyle affects your skin, so they feel their very best. “We live in a time where everybody wants to feel beautiful,” Cassandra says, and she wants to make sure that regardless of race, age, skin tone, that anyone “can be just as beautiful as the woman in the poster.” She has been blessed with so many opportunities in the beauty industry, but she knows that becoming an esthetician is exactly where she needs to be in life, and she can’t wait to continue to show the world what she has to offer!

Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Tadaija Woodside – $2,500 Scholarship Winner

@lov.elytee_.  Elevate Salon Institute Miami, FL

Tadaija explains that when she tells people she is from Miami, Florida, they immediately think “beach”. Tadaija grew up in the inner city, across the bridge in a town called Liberty City. Growing up she watched her family struggle and work several jobs just to get by.

She was determined to make sure she did not end up a product of her environment.

As a child, she loved anything that was related to skincare, mesmerized by TV ads about soaps, lotions and anything that made your skin beautiful. She started watching YouTube videos and once she had enough money, she started making her own skincare products. She found that family and friends were in love with her products. This was only the beginning of her journey.

While attending college, she decided to enroll in an esthetics program, so that she could add her love of skincare and learn all she can about esthetics. She can’t wait to acquire her license, graduate college, and plans on providing low-cost services in her community. She hopes to one day own a salon/spa to ensure her family is financially secure for the future. Check out her winning video submission HERE.