Texas Children’s Hospital renal patient Jacqueline Benavides (right) and best friend Jocelyn Olvera get their hair, makeup, and nails done by San Jacinto College cosmetology student volunteers for the annual Texas Children’s Hospital Prom. North Campus cosmetology student Jasmine Richardson (standing) finishes Benavides’ hairstyle. Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, San Jacinto College marketing department.
Cosmetology students pamper Texas Children’s Hospital patients for their prom
Andrea Vasquez-- April 26, 2012
HOUSTON — Thirty-four San Jacinto College (SJC) cosmetology students volunteered at the Texas Children’s Hospital annual prom event on Saturday, April 21, at the House of Dereon Media Center in downtown Houston.
Organized by Texas Children’s Hospital’s renal department Quality of Life program, the event gives teen patients, many of which suffer from kidney disease, a chance to celebrate this special time in their lives with other teens who are going through the same treatments as they are. “Many of our patients may not be able to attend their school prom because of hospitalizations or dialysis treatment schedules,” said Mary LaFauci, one of the coordinators from the Quality of Life program. “Kidney disease can affect all areas of one’s life, so this is an opportunity for them to be around others going through the same treatments and to celebrate. We include their families because their caregivers are a big part of our patient family at Texas Children’s Hospital. For me, it’s both humbling and rewarding all at the same time.”
This is the third year SJC North Campus cosmetology students have been volunteering for the event, but it is the first year that cosmetology students from all three of the SJC campuses helped teen patients get ready for their special night by styling their hair, doing facials and makeup, and manicures. “This is one of the best opportunities for students to see the other side of our profession,” said Tina Sanchez, North Campus cosmetology instructor. “Our profession isn’t just about providing services, but we also want to encourage our students to get involved with their communities to find ways they can volunteer their time using their talents in this industry,” Sanchez added.
For North Campus esthetician student Tonya Jones, volunteering for the event wasn’t even a second thought. “When you realize what kind of challenges these kids are going through, it makes you want to give something back,” said Jones. “It’s easy to forget that if you have your health, you’re living a good life and you’re blessed.”
If rigorous kidney treatments haven’t come between their friendship, odds are that attending college in different cities won’t matter either. Best friends Jacqueline Benavides and Jocelyn Olvera, both seniors at Hamshire-Fannett High School, enjoyed getting ready for their big night. Benavides was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease two years ago, and Olvera has been by her side ever since. “It’s really nice to be pampered and get your makeup and hair done,” said Benavides. “It helps you forget that you’re sick, just for a little bit.”
Though currently on a transplant list, her brother is also being tested to see if he is a match to donate one of his kidneys to her. Looking forward, Benavides plans to attend Lamar University, then after her transplant, transfer to the University of Houston to double-major in creative writing and business. Olvera will be attending Tarrant County College in Fort Worth this Fall, with future plans to become a pharmacist. The friends noted that it will be hard not seeing each other every day, but both are excited to start the next chapter in their lives.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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