Beauty Changes Lives And Wella’s Hairdressers At Heart Announce Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Basic Scholarship Winners

Six future hairstylists are one step closer to a career in the professional beauty industry thanks to receiving a Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Basic Scholarship. Generously funded by Wella’s Hairdressers at Heart, and administered by the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation, the scholarship honors hairstyling icon Vidal Sassoon’s lifelong commitment to professional education, while covering 50% of cosmetology school tuition up to $10,000.

Each winner in the Spring 2017 Basic Scholarship competition submitted a video, addressing how a career in the beauty industry would change not only their life, but the lives of others. Applicants drew on diverse life stories ranging from arriving in the U.S. as a Middle Eastern immigrant to performing in the national Broadway tour of Phantom of the Opera. Following is information about each of the Spring 2017 Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Basic Scholarship winners:

Joanna Grant (Gastonia, NC) – Student at Aveda Institute, Charlotte


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As a Middle East immigrant arriving in America, Joanna felt “uninvited” and resolved to work in a career where she could honor diversity and inspire others to see beauty in all its forms. Her passion for diversity also extends to goals for life after graduating cosmetology school. While Joanna hopes to use her hairdressing knowledge behind the chair and in editorial work, she also dreams of helping young people escape from human trafficking operations.

Mary Rouse (Lexington, KY) – Paul Mitchell the School – Lexington

Mary is inspired by beauty in other people, nature and even sports – especially figure skating. And she has a special affinity for helping brides look their most beautiful on the biggest day of their life. “I want to help people feel confident and worthy, because I know that beauty really does change lives,” says Mary.

Hanh Nguyen (Oakland Gardens, NY) – Arrojo Cosmetology School

Hanh has long sought to help people, previously working as a paralegal for a large immigration law firm. Now she wants to use her gift of caring for others to help them feel confident. “I want people to leave my chair with the confidence to get through the day, or even until their next hair appointment,” she says.

Deseray Gonock (Phoenix, AZ) – Penrose Academy

Deseray lost her father when she was just 16 but never gave up on her resolution to make him proud. The former interior design student was inspired to enroll in beauty school by her aunt and best friend who loved working as hairstylists. Deseray says she was stubborn about persisting toward her goal of a career behind the chair and feels that she has fulfilled her commitment to make her dad proud.

Grace Morgan (New York, NY) – Arrojo Cosmetology School

Grace grew up knowing she wanted to achieve two careers – actress and hairstylist. Performing on the national Broadway tour of Phantom of the Opera, the musical theater grad says, “half the fun of my role was getting ready with the hairstylists and wig specialists backstage.” Grace says a career in hairstyling will complement and enhance her work on stage.

Ashley Williams (Tempe, AZ) – Penrose Academy

Ashley is passionate about defining beauty on her terms. “Beauty is love, family, vulnerability, courage and creativity,” she says. Through her scholarship, Ashley wants to continue redefining how beauty is expressed behind and beyond the chair.

“Although these scholarship winners have varied backgrounds, they each share a common value that is characteristic of the industry—helping others look and feel their best,” said Lynelle Lynch, President of the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation. “Many of the video applications focused on how Vidal Sassoon’s commitment to helping others inspired their career journey, and we’re so honored to have the support of Wella’s Hairdressers at Heart to fund these NextGen artists’ journeys.”

Since launching in 2013, the Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship has changed the lives of 192 aspiring and licensed hairstylists. The program is administered by the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation, a 501c3 that seeks to elevate, educate and empower the next generation of beauty professionals.

“Education is the cornerstone of excellence in our industry,” said Sal Mauceri, Coty Senior Vice President North America Professional Beauty and Global OPI. “Wella’s Hairdressers at Heart is pleased to help these six talented hairstylists as they begin this life-changing career in the beauty industry. We’re proud to honor Vidal Sassoon’s inspiring commitment to education and his legacy of innovation through this namesake scholarship.”

Scholarship winners are selected by a panel of award-winning hairstylists, platform artists and educators. Applications are evaluated in three core areas: creativity/innovation, communication and creativity. While professionalism and technical details are important in scoring, judges focus on each applicant’s passion for the industry and vision for how their career in beauty will change lives.

About the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation: With a mission to elevate, educate and empower, Beauty Changes Lives is uniting the industry and building awareness of the extraordinary career opportunities in the beauty, wellness and massage therapy industries. Learn more at or find us on Facebook

About Hairdressers At Heart: Stylists are committed to being the best, perfecting their craft with every cut. Wella is here to advance the salon industry, one stylist at a time. Hairdressers At Heart is a program created to help stylists develop their talents throughout their career. Our goal is to be a vital partner to salons, empowering individual stylists and our entire industry. For more information: