By Alejandra Lopez, Clinician

As the end of the 2022-2023 school year comes to an end. The Path at Carteret Junior High School hosted their 2nd Annual Glam Sessions for 8th-grade students for their dinner dance. Alejandra Lopez and Sofia Saieh-Kuczynski from The Path, created this event for students to have the opportunity to receive hair and makeup services completely free of charge.

The purpose of this event was solely to make the students feel comfortable and confident in themselves. They wanted to create a space where the students had the creative freedom to choose what they wanted to look like on their special day. Students were able to attend and enjoy themselves without having to worry about any financial burden. The Path collaborated with Piscataway Vocational High School’s adult cosmetology program. They had a total of 21 students ready to take on any hairstyle or makeup that the students wanted. This year, The Path serviced 25 students who all chose to have both services done and left feeling beautiful.

The day began with The Path welcoming the volunteers and debriefing how to engage with the students to give them the “salon” experience. The majority of students expressed this was their first time ever getting their hair or makeup done. It was very important to make their first experience a memorable one. Students were offered snacks and water upon arrival and showed their stylist pictures for inspiration. Music was also playing in the background and students were complimenting each other as they were getting serviced, it felt like they were all getting ready with the girls!

The Path also collaborated with Aja Bradley from Carteret High School’s Pathways program. Aja offered her amazing braiding skills and created beautiful hairstyles for students who had specific requests. Students were grateful for Aja’s talent and created exactly what they had envisioned. They left her chair feeling confident! As students were finishing, they then had a photoshoot showing off their looks. The Path aims to help students improve their self-esteem and while they are usually teaching them that beauty is on the inside. Organizing these special events, and being afforded the luxury of hair and makeup helps them feel proud and confident.

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