Pay It Forward: Helping women earn their cosmetology licenses

Pay It Forward
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ST. LOUIS – Hundreds of women have received second chances in life thanks to the efforts of a St. Louis woman’s cosmetology school.

Jamila Reeves, a student at the Second Chance Career Academy of Cosmetology, nominated the head of the school, Izola Toy, for the Pay It Forward award after learning Toy doesn’t take a salary for her work.

Izola Toy said she witnessed a number of students struggle to read and comprehend while studying to take the state test to get a cosmetology license. Toy launched the Second Chance Academy in 2001 to offer students one-on-one instruction.

“Being a classroom teacher for 31 years as a reading specialist, I know about how to help students learn with comprehension,” Toy said.

Reeves credits Toy’s instruction in helping her to earn her cosmetology license.

The school caters to those who are unemployed those with financial problems or those learning disabilities.

“From the moment I came I have been just overwhelmed with joy, love, and passion, and it’s kind of caused me to want to go and get another license to become an instructor as she is an instructor,” Reeve said.

Toy said the school bridges the gap between failure and success.

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