Building on a legacy of philanthropy and honoring the spirit of entrepreneurship that grew a family business into a global brand, the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Foundation is serving the future of beauty. Winners of the Winter 2021 Miller Family Foundation scholarships are the latest beneficiaries of a $1 million commitment to change lives. After a year of unprecedented hardship for many in the professional beauty industry, the gift signifies the generosity of a family that has never lost its faith and confidence in the power of beauty to change lives.
Scholarship winners and their respective schools are as follows:
Dominique Broaden, @dominiquebroaden
Michigan College of Beauty, Monroe, Mich.
Arnold M. Miller Find-A-Way Scholarship – $15,000
“Courage and Culture”
Culture, braiding and the courage to persevere are interwoven in Dominque’s journey to become a hairstylist. Enrolling in beauty school as a teenager, Dominique was forced to abandon her program due to a lack of funding. After earning a bachelor’s degree, she worked in the foster care system but never lost her passion for beauty. After re-enrolling in beauty school, Dominique learned that the funding she thought would finance her career studies was less than half what was required.
Not one to ever give up, she applied for the Arnold Miller Find-A-Way scholarship. Her scholarship application video blends culture, and a passion for beauty history as she shares how African Americans used intricate cornrow braids as a communications tool during the days of slavery. Her keen interest in Africa is reflected in her hairstyling submissions, evoking the warm hues and graceful silhouettes of the savanna landscapes. But it is her spirit of resilience and courage that really shines through. Recalling another fighter who never gave up, Dominque quotes Sir Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Watch her video here.
Tiffany Chao, @tchaoskin
The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), San Jose, Calif.
The Sydell L. Miller Total Image Beauty Schlarship – $7,500
“The Power of Community”
Tiffany’s parents immigrated from Taiwan and instilled in her the value of financial security, defined as “doctor, lawyer, or accountant.” After earning an accounting degree, working for a global accounting firm and studying for her CPA exam, Tiffany developed acne and the accompanying stress. However, she also discovered the power of community. Experimenting with products ranging from black soap to scar cream, Tiffany connected with bloggers and started sharing her own journey into skincare. “Instagram and the skincare community became my creative outlets,” says Tiffany, noting that skincare conversations fed the need for creativity that was lacking in her career. Looking forward to a future in skincare Tiffany notes, “Esthetics is more than a career. For me, it’s personal.” Watch her video here.
Kianna Mercado, @kikidoebeauty
Flair Beauty College, Valencia, Calif.
Sydell L. Miller Total Image Beauty Scholarship – $7,500
“The Joy of Giving”
Studying as a special effects makeup artist, Kianna fell in love with lashes and the art of a well-sculpted lash line. But a house call to a client opened her eyes to an even bigger passion – the opportunity to change lives. When her client shared that she had breast cancer and wanted lashes to celebrate her birthday, Kianna realized the transformative power of beauty. She even donated her services to her client as a birthday gift.
“When you have cancer, things are constantly taken away from you, and I want to find a way to give back,” says Kianna who aspires to fund a non-profit to provide esthetics services for people with cancer. And she’s found that giving is reciprocal. Remarking on her career and the joy it gives her, Kianna says, “I am working in a job that doesn’t feel like a job. Esthetics just makes me happy.” Watch her video here.
Faviola Ortiz, @faviiz_beauty_bar
Paul Mitchell The School, Salt Lake City, UT
Art of Haircutting – $5,000
“Learning to Love Change”
After moving from Texas to Utah, Faviola experienced depression and was encouraged by a quote about patience during periods of change. “Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. I’m looking forward to the gorgeous part,” says Faviola. The medical assistant, night school student and aspiring business owner had her eyes opened to the joy of beauty after taking a tour of her beauty school. “As soon as they gave me a start date, I said let’s start now, because I’d fallen in love with beauty.” Looking forward to her future in beauty, Faviola is seeing a glimpse into the quote that motivated her following her move – a career that is literally gorgeous. Watch her video here.
Lauralyn McClellan, @lululockssmith
Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute, New York
Art of Hairdressing Scholarship – $5,000
“A Pandemic Pivot to a New Career Path”
When Broadway Shows went dark during the pandemic, Lauralyn realized there was no better moment to be a beauty student. The accomplished dancer and actress was fascinated by the wig creating she saw behind the curtain. And something else appealed to her – a stable craft after a career spanning 20 years and a lot of uncertainty. “While I love performing, I’ve never had the security of knowing what my next job would be. I love learning a secure skill and I love cutting hair,” she noted in her application video. And while beauty is changing her life as she embarks on a new career path, Lauralyn also loves the power of a really great wig to transport a viewer into the production experience. Watch her video here.
Sophia Nelson, @the_sophiaadele
The Taylor Andrew Academy, Utah
Art of Haircolor Scholarship – $5,000
“The Problem Solver”
Sophia loves problems – whether a bad DIY cut, color disaster or pandemic makeover gone horribly wrong. Her video demonstrated her patience and precision when remediating various beauty blunders. Asked to name what she loves about beauty, Sophia sites three reasons for making her career in beauty. “I love the art and the business of it, first. Second, I love the constant change, fast pace and hustle – every day is new and no two clients’ hair is the same. And third, I love being around people.” Sophia loves the transformative power of beauty and remarks that as the career is changing her life, she’s changing the lives of others. Watch her video here.
The Sydell & Arnold Miller Family Foundation Scholarships are awarded twice annually. The confidence of this Foundation is a powerful voice for new entrants entering the beauty industry. More information is available at beautychangeslives.org/scholarships.
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