Cosmetology students trained to help cancer patients

 

Seven of our seniors studying cosmetology became part of a powerful, compassionate group of volunteers this week after being trained for The Look Good Feel Better program sponsored by the American Cancer Society. They participated in a four-hour training offered at Whittier to learn how to apply make-up and offer tips on hairstyling, including wig fitting and how to fashion turbans and scarves after hair loss.

“It’s another avenue for students to build a career on and, equally as important, to volunteer and give their talents and skills back to the community,” said Cosmetology Teacher Suzanne Tozlowski. She has been a Look Good Feel Better volunteer for more than 18 years and brought the program -- dedicated to helping women look their best during chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments -- to her Whittier students.

After receiving certification, the students become part of a volunteer force that has donated 150,000 hours to 50,000 women who have cancer. They will work with patients at area hospitals four times each year, and must get recertified online every two years to stay in the program. They are eager to get started.

“I loved it,” said Chloe Mitchell, a senior from Haverhill. “A lot of women in my family have had breast cancer so I’ve seen first hand how if affects their confidence. The two trainers explained the make-up tips really well and the styling tips were great. You could tell they really cared about what they do. This program helps people be who they once were and feel as confident as they were before.”

Melanie Penalo, senior from Lawrence said she is eager to volunteer. “I like helping people and making them feel better. My grandfather has cancer so I know how it feels to have someone in your family who is suffering like that. I want to help others feel like they’re not alone.”

 

The program was founded and developed in 1989 by the Personal Care Products Council, the American Cancer Societyand the Professional Beauty Association, a national organization that represents hairstylists, wig experts, estheticians, makeup artists, and other professionals in the cosmetic industry.