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Free hairstyles put students on right track

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Tracy Pitt, left, styles Amilya Hill’s, 7, hair Saturday at Edgecombe Community College Cosmetology school in Tarboro.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Some girls in the Twin Counties were preparing Saturday to go back to school by getting their hair and nails done — for free.

The Edgecombe Community College School of Cosmetology offered free hairstyles and nail care to students preparing to attend school next week. The event took place in the Cosmetic Arts building on the Tarboro campus of Edgecombe Community College.

Carolyn Sherrill, an instructor at the college and the one who organized this second annual back-to-school event, said the event started at 9 a.m. and by 9:30 a.m., they had 50 people signed up. They spent the rest of the day working through a waiting list.

“We are doing this as a way to give back to the community,” she said. “This is also a way for our students to share our resources with the community and shine a light on the cosmetic arts program here. And it is a way to stay connected with our former students because some of them come back and help with this event.”

The student beautification efforts all were performed by either advanced students in the program or ones who already had completed their training, Sherrill said.

The students and parents who came to the event seemed appreciative of their efforts.

Mia Edwards, for instance, is starting sixth grade at Martin Millennium Academy.

“I like this chance to get my hair styled because I usually don’t, and it is nice to have a change,” she said. “I feel like, when you go back to school, you should have something different about you.”

Shakita Andrews, who was styling Edwards’ hair, said she thinks offering the free back-to-school hairstyles is a great idea.

“A lot of kids come get the hairstyles they want to start off the new school year fresh,” she said. “It is something to look forward to and it makes you more eager to go back to school.”

Natara Peele, who was just finishing up her cosmetology program at ECC, skillfully worked on an elaborate braid on a patient 5-year-old girl.

“I love doing hair, especially on kids,” she said. “They are ready to smile when I get done and that is all I want to see. A new hairstyle gives them a self-esteem drive and it also gives the hair stylist a self-esteem drive knowing how happy they are that they got their hair done. And that is always a plus.”

Shermonica Hopkins, a student in the cosmetology program at ECC, was working on Brooke Jefferies’ hair.

“This is a great! It is exciting because the kids are all ready to go back to school,” Hopkins said. “I have a child, so I know how it is.”

Brooke’s mother, Tamara Jefferies, said the back-to-school haircuts have really helped her family.

“I think this is wonderful because I really could not afford this on my own,” she said. “We just moved out of a shelter in Rocky Mount and any money we have has gone into that move. This event helps and my daughter really wanted to get her hair done.”

Brooke Jefferies, a second grader at Fairview Elementary School, was interested in having her hair braided on Saturday. But she also has other things on her mind as she starts the new school year. When asked about her favorite reason for wanting to go back to school on Monday, Jefferies gave the perfect answer.

“My favorite part is learning,” she said.

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