Milwaukee’s Executive Director, Erica Mlinaz changed the course of a student’s future with one simple act of kindness, and truly radiated the meaning of Empire Education Group’s core values; creating opportunities for people to improve their lives.
A Martin’s College of Cosmetology student, Krystal Taylor, had been enrolled in the cosmetology program at the Milwaukee, WI, cosmetology school while she was also working toward completing her high school diploma through an online program. After three months and 232 hours at Martin’s, Krystal learned her online high school diploma was invalid because the program and school weren’t accredited. After learning the news, Erica reluctantly had to explain to Krystal that she could no longer attend Martin’s without her high school diploma or GED.
“I was devastated,” said Krystal of realizing all her hard work toward her goal one day of becoming a cosmetologist and owning her own salon was coming to an abrupt end. “I thought, I’m dropped, that’s it, I’m giving up,” she paused. “My one and only dream was to do hair,” added Krystal.
Krystal had dropped out of her senior year of high school after becoming pregnant with her son, and returning to school to earn her diploma was an important achievement for her to show her now 6-year-old boy. “Education is very important to me,” said Krystal.
“She’s a sweetheart. Always helpful toward the educators and other students , and had great attendance,” said Erica. “she’s an excellent student and to tell her the news jus t broke my heart,” added Erica.
But rather than letting Krystal walk through Martin’s doors for the last time. Erica quickly took matters into her own hands. “You can always step outside of the box to help someone,” said Erica, who purchased the GED preparation text books out of her pocket and helped Krystal register for the exam.
After three intense weeks of studying and planning, Krystak earned her GED and walked back through the doors of Martin’s. With the help of Martin’s educators, Krystal dedicated herself to catching up with the rest of the students.
“I want to thank Erica, Jim Browning, Ms.Pat, Ms.Val, and MS. Labrenda for helping me,” said Krystal, who also says she appreciates her continued education more since her struggles. “ I gained trust in Erica because she helped me and she was very caring about the situation,” she added.
“We need to help our students in every possible way. We’re here to help them achieve their dreams and face these roadblocks along the way,” said Erica. “ You can move mountains ans we were able to get her back in the school,” said Erica.
Today Krystal is busy honing her skills on the Student Salon floor and continuing her main objective. “Her goal is to open her own salon and I really want to see her complete that,” noted Erica.
Krystal is set to graduate on time in January and already has been establishing her salon, appropriately named, KryStyle.