Maria Aoraha: Regis’s Unleash the Beauty of Potential Scholarship

by Courtney Weikel

Meet the latest recipient of the Regis Unleash the Beauty of Potential Scholarship, Maria Aoraha! Aoraha graduated from Empire Beauty School in Stone Park, IL August 2023. 

I always loved anything that had to do with art. I used to paint all the time when I was younger. Instead of painting, I wanted to translate it into something more physical. I like hair design and hair color because people can wear my art. I always wanted to be recognized as the artist that I am. 

Jamie Suarez, SVP of Merchandising and Education, Regis Corporation, congratulates Aoraha on her achievement. 

We at Regis are excited to announce the latest recipient of the Unleash the Beauty of Potential scholarship- Maria Aoraha! Maria’s impressive academic performance shows talent, enthusiasm, and dedication. We wish Maria all the best in her career in Cosmetology! 

As a Cosmetologist, you will have the opportunity to transform the lives of others, both physically and mentally. A Cosmetologist listens to the needs of their clients to ensure they are achieving their desired look. Doing so will also boost their confidence, allowing them to put their best foot forward. The beauty industry will forever be a field that gives back.

The most rewarding part about cosmetology is seeing people transform. They come in feeling insecure about an issue regarding their hair, but they leave glowing and happy. They share your work online, talking about how much they love their new hair color or haircut, and you see them become more confident. 

Since graduating, Aoraha has continued her education by assisting at a salon, all while keeping her end goal in mind. 

Right now, I am training at Hidden Gem Salon. I’m currently an assistant, working under a stylist. She specializes in hair extensions and hair color. We are both working towards that path, learning more about both areas. My end goal after I spend some time at the salon, is that I would love to be a runway or stage hairstylist. I want to work for movies or TV shows. My goal is to be a celebrity hairstylist.

Empire Beauty School offers an exclusive hands-on curriculum that fits all learning styles. When you enroll at Empire, you join a community.

What I loved the most at Empire was the educators and the staff. They were excellent, they kept it lighthearted, and it was fun! I loved the different information we learned and ways to practice. I was there Monday- Friday from 9 am-5 pm, similar to a full-time job. We had good and bad days, but it became a community.

Our Empire Team is available to all students at any point in their career. We are here to guide you through your journey, discuss concerns, and help you reach your end goal. Aoraha appreciated the support of Senior Director, Michele Salvadore. 

I want to thank Michele Salvadore. She was the one who enrolled me and stayed so supportive of me throughout my time there. I could openly talk to her about my issues, but she never made me uncomfortable. She is super warm and welcoming. She is powerful, and people look up to her. 

One thing we love to see is students supporting students. When you come to beauty school, you are with others who share your passion. Students share their knowledge and cheer them on as they further their craft. 

A memorable moment was when I first moved to the salon floor. I always thought of the salon floor as big and scary. I would watch the students on the salon floor and cheer them on. When I ended up on the salon floor, the other students would watch my work. I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was definitely memorable.

If you are considering enrolling in beauty school, but still have hesitations, Aoraha shares her words of encouragement.

I would recommend giving it some thought beforehand. If you have the slightest clue that this is for you, go for it. It won’t hurt to go for it. Before this, I was in college on a pre-medicine track. Then COVID happened, the world shut down, and I was no longer interested in pre-med. Beauty became everything to me in that time period. If you have the smallest idea that this is something you want, then go for it. There are so many things you can do in this industry, it’s not just hair.

For more information about Empire Beauty School, or how to enroll, click –

October 9, 2023

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