Spring 2019 Arnold M. Miller Foundation Scholarships Winners Announced at America’s Beauty Show

(April 1, 2019 – CHICAGO) Five students enrolled in cosmetology, barbering or esthetic programs are finding a way to pursue their dreams courtesy of scholarships funded by the Sydell & Arnold Miller Family Foundation. Winners were announced in Chicago during America’s Beauty Show. The scholarships are funded by a $1,000,000 scholarship endowment announced in 2017 by the Sydell & Arnold Miller Family Foundation.

The new scholarships celebrate the legacy of two iconic beauty and wellness influencers who transformed the art and science of beauty education – Sydell and Arnold Miller, the co-founders of Matrix Essentials. Three new artistic scholarships, as well as the signature Find-A-Way cosmetology scholarship and Total Image Esthetics Scholarship were awarded to applicants in an intense, national competition.  Winners are as follows:

The Arnold M. Miller │Find-A-Way Student Scholarship

Jennifer Lord, @naturalhollywood, Arrojo Cosmetology School, Brooklyn, NY

While Jennifer’s father was a barber, her parents encouraged her to find something “more secure” and attend college. But Jennifer found a college degree was no assurance of security when the young mom was laid off as a teacher and struggled with student loans. She discovered that “natural hair” required no license and started honing her artistic skills. “Natural hair saved my life,” says Jennifer. She recently channeled her creativity into a natural hair coffee table book and eventually aspires to work as an editorial stylist. Watch her video here.

The Sydell L. Miller│Total Image Esthetics Student Scholarship

Shauntavia Ward, @shauninmyelemint, Aveda Institute, Austin, TX

A registered nurse and nurse practitioner, Shantavia says there is a close relationship between healthy skin and mental health. “”When people can’t put their best face forward, they usually don’t perform well,” she says. Becoming a nurse esthetician will allow her to bridge the gap between skincare and wellness. Watch her video here.


The Sydell & Arnold Miller Family │Art of Haircutting Student Scholarship

Kristyl Rodriguez, – Bellus Academy, San Diego, Calif.

As a teen, Kristyl felt misunderstood and frustrated that the world didn’t recognize her competitive and creative nature. After a series of destructive choices, Kristyl found purpose and direction when she enrolled in the U.S. Marine Corp. In the Marines, Kristyl discovered a talent and a passion for barbering, including edgy cuts. “I found out what feeds my soul and my goal is to fill any void people carry into my chair, as I change the world one haircut at a time,” says Kristyl. Check out her inspiring video.

The Sydell & Arnold Miller Family l Art of Hairdressing Scholarship

Isabel Polzin, Z Hair Academy, Lees Summit, Mo.

Convincing friends and family that cosmetology is a viable, rewarding career wasn’t easy for Isabel, but they were swayed by her talent, passion and commitment to get the best education to make her dream a reality. Unfortunately, a high school counselor downplayed her dream and even told her she would never make a viable living at the career. Undeterred, Isabel is pursuing her lifelong dream to use her talents in a way that makes her smile. “Every time I see  someone smile after I’ve  done their hair, I feel like I’ve touched their life,”  she says in her application video.


Sydell & Arnold Miller Family │Art of Hair Coloring Scholarship

Heather Wilson, @heatherwilsonhairpins, Aveda Institute, Atlanta, GA

Heather believes it’s never too late to re-launch a career. As a mom and wife, Heather is poised to turn her passion for hair color into a career as a colorist. “Changing your hair color is the easiest way to change your look and your view,” says Heather. She adds that hair color is more than a skill. “Color is not just what you see; it’s what you feel,” she states in her application video that shows off dramatic hues and textures in hues of green and blue.




Announcing the scholarships, Sydell Miller said, “Giving back to help others was always part of the way Arnie and I approached life and business. Helping sustain the industry’s future decades is a responsibility we are honored to support.”


“The humanitarian efforts of the Millers continue to change lives,” said Lynelle Lynch, president of the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation. “Their commitment to equipping and empowering the future is an inspiration to every stakeholder in the professional beauty industry.”