Student, BirminghamAngelica


“I was laid off from my job back in 2014. I was just tired of working for corporate America. Giving someone all that you have just to be told, ‘Hey, we no longer need you.’ It really deflated me. Everything I had. It just took all the wind out of me.

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I am a mother of three, I have two boys and a girl. I am engaged to be married. It was really about the time, being able to be a full-time mom and being able to fit school into my schedule. It’s a balancing act. Sometimes when the kids are doing their homework, I do mine. While they’re eating, I eat. If I have a little free time, then that’s our free time.

One day I kept seeing the commercial, and I remember I had talked to Brooke (an admissions representative) earlier that year. A starting class was coming up, and I said I’d be there. And that time came and it passed and I saw the commercial again and thought, ‘Hmm, I think they’re talking to me.’ So after blowing off Admissions a few more times, I finally came in.

Every step of the way, someone held my hand. There was never any confusion. It’s comforting to still be able to see Brooke walk around the hallways and say, ‘Hey, how are you?’

I was always doing family and friends’ hair. Once my mom let me get into her hair. She let me style it and put curls in it. Once she started wearing it to work, I knew I wanted to focus on it. It was just the right fit from the very beginning. My younger brothers really pushed me, too. They were in high school and were actually brave enough to wear my haircuts.

“Telling yourself not to quit is so important.”

Staying committed is a really big thing. Keeping yourself grounded and telling yourself not to quit is so important.

You have to remove limits. I am no longer scared to just go up and talk to a stranger. Because you meet people here every day, it’s no longer like meeting a stranger. I can just walk up to people now and say, ‘Hey, I like your highlights!’

We had a wig application class and we learned how to make wigs. A few classmates and I were sitting out here, and Brittany was telling us how her mother went through cancer and how she has lost some of her hair. She had always wanted to make wigs and donate them. I was like, ‘We can do that!’ Right then the campus president walks by and I told him I had an idea.

I asked, ‘Can we make wigs and donate them?’ He said, ‘If you’re serious, get it together, and I’ll support you 100 percent.’

“I knew that this was where I was meant to be, to change lives of other people and make other people feel beautiful.”

So, I go to the program director and she tells me that I need a business proposal. I’ve never done a business proposal before. I create the business proposal and from there we started, VC Wigs of Love. We made nine wigs our first time and one of our instructors put us in contact with a foundation that actually donates the wigs.

We had a pinning ceremony come up, and we found out that one of our instructors was actually a survivor of cancer and another one of our instructors had actually just started chemo and had cut off all of her hair. We decided that we would make a wig strictly for her and she would be our first recipient of a wig from VC Wigs of Love.

We constructed all of the wigs on the salon floor. During the pinning ceremony, Ms. Bennett, who is a cancer survivor, gave some encouraging words, and I was actually able to present the wig to the instructor, Ms. Manning. There wasn’t a dry eye, it was the most awesome thing ever. I knew that this was where I was meant to be, to change lives of other people and make other people feel beautiful, in spite of their circumstances, in spite of what life may have thrown at them. They can still be glorious.”

We’re in this togetherRead More of Our Stories

Chris, Birmingham“Being a single dad and working and going to school — it’s a lot of sleepless nights, but I make it work.”

Read His Story

Teresa, Austin“I’m a veteran and it’s been 30 years since I’ve been in school.”

Read Her Story

Wanda, Austin“Not too long ago, I discovered I had cancer.”

Read Her Story

Are you a Virginia College student, graduate or staff member?We’d love to hear your story!

“I chose the field I am in because I have always wanted to help people who are sick feel better.”

Kennesha, Huntsville Graduate

“I chose Business Administration because I wanted to fully understand owning and operating a business. I am very independent and very curious.”

Cronyn, Charleston Student

“I am 53 and decided to start over in my career.”

Tammy, Augusta Student

“It’s never too late to go back and finish your degree!”

Almarina, Shreveport Graduate

“I didn't choose cosmetology, it chose me!”

Kumesia, Jacksonville Graduate

“I’m a 37-year-old proud mother of three children and three stepchildren, a full-time student with a 4.0 GPA, and working full-time.”

Virginia, Lubbock Student

“The proudest moment in my life is that after I had my son, I returned to finish my schooling.”

Ryan, Charleston Student

“I gave up partying late at night to study late at night. And all the hard work paid off.”

Yesica, ChattanoogaGraduate

“I wanted better for my children and to show them there’s always something to learn.”

Laura, Jacksonville Student

“Before enrolling in school, I never really felt like I was doing what I should be doing.”

Bonnie, Florence Student

“I want my son to know that you are never too old to accomplish any of your dreams and you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Jessica, Knoxville Student

“I worked as a hairstylist for over 30 years and a licensed cosmetology instructor for 23 years. I know that hard work pays off in the long run.”

Meshandra, Macon Instructor

“I am the oldest of five kids. At a young age my mother got sick, and I had to step up to the plate.”

Lauren, Austin Student

“I have been told by some family members that I do not have what it takes to become a nurse; they have motivated me to prove them wrong.”

Caitlin, Montgomery Student

“I’m not a person that gives up easily on myself or others.”

Christine, Savannah Student

“Being a chef is a dream of mine. I don’t want to think about what could have been. I had to take the chance.”

Fred, Richmond Student

“Never let anyone stop you from becoming a greater person in life. No matter what, keep going!”

Allison, Columbus Student

“I was 34, a single mother of three. I worked full-time and was a full-time student. My life was nonstop for two years. As time went on it became a lot easier and a lot more fun.”

LaTasha, Augusta Graduate

“My motivation is my six-year-old daughter. To know that this little person is depending on me for everything makes me want to work that much harder and strive that much more for success.”

Lakesha, Savannah Student

“There was a time in my life when I was sickly. One day, my husband took me to get a makeover. The transformation was phenomenal. I want to make people feel the way I felt that day.”

Sable, Columbus Graduate

“My husband passed away in February 2017. I chose the medical assistant field because of taking care of him and my elderly parents.”

Janet, Knoxville Student

“I have completed eight years with two deployments in service to my country.”

Eric, Jackson Student

“I love everything about cosmetology — hair, makeup, nails, everything!”

Camell, Columbia Student

“Being in the military and seeing a lot of people sick, it gave me the motivation to do something challenging and be better.”

Jamar, Savannah Graduate

“I wanted to do something with my life that would make both my children and my mother proud.”

Jasmine, Spartanburg Student

“I kept telling myself I was going to do this but never did it. Last year, I put my foot down and told myself that I am going to finish school.”

Kerpernia, Mobile Student

“I am motivated by the students. I am constantly reminded that everyone is reaching for something.”

Kelly, Pensacola Instructor

“As a single mother, I wanted to show my son it wasn’t too late to get my degree! I finished knowing I could start a career and provide for him and give him the life I never had.”

Chelsea, Birmingham Graduate

“I am scared to death to leave my classmates and teachers when I graduate because I love them and have become attached.”

Kelsey, Baton Rouge Student