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Getting your child ready for the first day of school is not cheap.
Students need school supplies, doctors’ visits and haircuts, to name a few things.
However many students, especially teen mothers, struggle to get prepared.
That’s why local cosmetologist, Kym L. Jones treated three students in the HCPS Teenage Parent Program to back to school makeovers at her Brandon store “Salon K Lashea.”
Jones knows the hardships these teen mothers are facing, becoming a mom at 16 years old.
Alpha House of Tampa, a residential program for homeless pregnant women and mothers, helped Jones provide for her newborn.
“I always had a thing where I always knew that once I got older I was going to give back to anyone that was in a situation that I experienced,” said Jones.
One of the students that received a makeover was Senior Ashley Jaillite, who has 18-month-old fraternal twins. She explains it had been difficult financially and emotionally to raise her toddlers.
The last time she cut her hair was during her Freshman year, 3 years ago.
“It means a lot because most of the teen girls in our program are low income or many are even homeless,” said Jaillite. “So, we don’t have the money to do all these things like take care of our hair, go get our nails done or go get makeup because we have kids and all our time and money goes to our kids.”
This amazing idea started after her client Dr. Sherell Wilson, Supervisor for the Teenage Parent Non-Traditional Programs at HCPS, told Jones about the hardships the teen mothers face.
That’s when Jones decided to team up with Dr. Wilson and help some of the mothers get ready for their first day back.
“Unfortunately, it’s not something they can do or focus on at this time because they got to take care of their babies at a young age,” said Jones. “To be able to do it for them, to be able to give back and allow them to feel good about themselves and know that at the end of the day, yeah you’re a teen mother but that’s not going to stop you, but now life has changed.”
Not only was Jones touched by the stories these teen mothers shared with her, but the students also felt so appreciative for the kind gesture.
“Once the girls learned of this potential opportunity, they have been bursting with anticipation and excitement and asking about it every day,” said Dr. Wilson. “This is very exciting and well-deserved for the girls who have faced challenging times while pursuing their high school diplomas, working summer jobs, and raising their babies. They are already beautiful, but we cannot wait to see the before and after.”
Aside from receiving a makeover, each girl took home new styling products along with a gift card!
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