Niagara Gazette — Asia Henry of Niagara Falls, a self-taught make-up artist, is no stranger to the hardships of life — and she understands that sometimes people just need a reward for their efforts.
“I’ve always worked hard, but there were setbacks,” she said. “I just needed a win, something good just had to happen. I also know other people who work really hard and could use a win, including students.”
Henry, along with hairstylist Jessica Billingslea-Young and amateur photographer Keyona Dunn, both also of Niagara Falls, met this past November to work on an idea to reward three Niagara Falls students for their good grades. Using social media outlets, the women encouraged local high school and college students to post their grades online.
What the students didn’t know is that, by doing this, they were actually entering for the chance to be selected for a free makeover and photo shoot.
“They had no idea we were going to do that,” Billingslea-Young said. “We promoted it on Facebook and announced the winners on New Year’s Eve.”
The three winners were Niagara Falls High School juniors Tamiya Pierce and Khasmir Williams and NCCC nursing student Christine Sperduti of Niagara Falls.
The winners said that they enjoyed the experience and would recommend the services of Henry, Young and Dunn to any of their friends.
Pierce, who aspires to one day become a physical therapist, says that she was glad to be chosen and had a great time. Her favorite part was the photo shoot.
“I would definitely go back to these ladies in the future,” she said. “I’m thinking of having them do my senior pictures.”
Williams, who expressed an interest in studying journalism or criminal justice after high school, also says that she also was happy to be chosen.
“I was excited. I’m usually not too into this kind of stuff,” she said. “My favorite part was getting my make-up done. It was all a really cool opportunity.”
Sperduti, who will become a registered nurse after this semester, also said she was grateful for the opportunity. With a young son at home, she said, she doesn’t often get to spend time on herself.
“I would absolutely recommend these ladies,” she said. “More entrepreneurs around here should be doing this. Not many would take the time; it’s really cool.”
Aside from doing this as a way to give back to the community, the women also agreed that this is a good way of brand building and promoting themselves as part of the self-employed workforce. Young said that in the future she would definitely like to work with Henry and Dunn again in a professional setting. She also said that as long as they can afford to, they plan to keep giving back to the community.
For more information on Henry, visit www.facebook.com/FaceClymaxx. For Young, visit www.styleseat.com/jessicamsmotivation, and for Dunn, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Dunnys-Creations.