Cosmetology students spend a lot of time learning about healthy hair and hair styling. For the SkillsUSA cosmetology team, educating the public about hair loss caused by alopecia seems like a perfect fit.
Three cosmetology students, Vanessa Montes DeOca, Alexandra Rodriguez and Katherine Suero, called Ladies in Pink, and Yanilette Cepeda and Alexanderia Warnell, called the Two in Blue, are competing in a community service project at the state level of SkillsUSA that involves educating the community about alopecia and children who suffer from it. They will be evaluated based on a project report and a live presentation before a panel of three judges.
Alopecia can range from bald spots on the scalp to complete hair loss all over the scalp or body.
For the Ladies in Pink project, students sought donations of money or locks of hair for children with hair loss. They are also highlighting the case of Kobii Spruill of Providence, a 12-year-old girl diagnosed with universal alopecia at the age of three. This affliction causes hair loss all over the body. Since Kobii is allergic to hair, she is unable to wear wigs. Students are trying to raise funds for her education, and also for families to stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Providence.
Four service days were held at the PCTA Salon, where students further educated clients about alopecia, and raised funds for their community service projects
Last year, the PCTA cosmetology students were ranked 12th nationally in community service and won a gold medal in the state competition and the President’s Volunteer Service Award for outstanding community service. More than 30 PCTA students are competing in cosmetology this year, the largest team in the state.
SkillsUSA is a showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. State winners will progress to the national competition, to be held in June in Louisville, Ky. (See related story in announcements about a fundraiser to support the PCTA team at the national competition.)