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Eastside High School Celebrates Ribbon Cutting for Cosmetology Program


By Gabriella Dragone

Published April 25, 2024 

PATERSON, NJ - Eastside High School unveiled its highly anticipated cosmetology program with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday. The program is designed to equip students with essential academic, technical, and practical skills.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by students, faculty, local dignitaries, and community members, showcased the culmination of months of planning and preparation.  With 74 students currently enrolled in the program and an additional 50 recently added, the demand for this comprehensive educational opportunity underscores the community's recognition of the program's value in preparing students for successful careers in the beauty industry.

"If we shape our tomorrow by what we do today, then this moment represents the realization of a dream," Ayanna DeFreese, Pathway Associate Supervisor said. "With dedication, research, expertise, and unwavering support, we've made it happen. With 74 students currently enrolled and another 50 eagerly joining our program, our growth is remarkable. I stand proud to affirm that we are poised to make a significant impact. Our students will leave with certifications in hand, and perhaps, some may return as teachers. This journey marks just the beginning of our transformation in the cosmetology field."

"I want to express my gratitude for the support received in establishing this program," Superintendent of Paterson Public Schools Dr. Laurie Newell said. "When I first joined this summer, I joked about its absence, but now seeing it become a reality fills me with excitement. We aim to equip our students with the skills needed to thrive in society, and I'm thrilled about the opportunities it brings. Working alongside Deputy Superintendent Dr. Henderson, our focus remains on empowering our students for success. Thank you all for your dedication, and I eagerly anticipate the achievements of our students."

The cosmetology program, aligned with the requirements for New Jersey State Board certification, emphasizes hands-on learning experiences and real-world applications. With a comprehensive curriculum covering a wide range of beauty techniques and practices, students will develop proficiency in hairstyling, makeup artistry, skincare, and salon management.

"I am thrilled to witness the inauguration of the cosmetology program," Andre McCollum Principal of Academics said. "It's truly outstanding to see such support. While we may advocate for our students, actions speak louder than words. We must demonstrate our commitment through tangible efforts."


The program's launch comes at a time of increased demand for skilled cosmetology professionals, offering students promising career prospects upon completion of their studies.

"Being part of the cosmetology program at Eastside High School has been life-changing," one student said. "I've always had a passion for beauty and now, with hands-on training in lash extensions, makeup application, and more, I feel like I'm on the path to turning my passion into a career. This program is not just about learning skills; it's about unlocking our potential and shaping our futures. I'm grateful for this opportunity and excited to see where it takes me."