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DeKalb Tech students give back with makeovers

Staff Photos: Michelle Floyd. Sarah Rowe, a cosmetology student at DeKalb Technical College, gives a women a manicure during the school's service project, From Our Hearts to Yours. Students gave makeovers to dozens of area youngsters and women this week.

Staff Photos: Michelle Floyd. Sarah Rowe, a cosmetology student at DeKalb Technical College, gives a women a manicure during the school's service project, From Our Hearts to Yours. Students gave makeovers to dozens of area youngsters and women this week.

COVINGTON -- DeKalb Technical College students bonded together last week to give a little love to local children and women.

In the school's first event of its kind, From Our Hearts to Yours, cosmetology students and other school groups provided makeovers to dozens of area children and women who need a little more love in their lives.

"God gave me the vision to organize and plan an event that would uplift, encourage and build self-esteem to those who have encountered difficult times," said DTC cosmetology student Carla Tyrell, who introduced the project to the school. "Valentine's Day would be the best day to pamper them with love."

Last week, her event provided free haircuts to boys from the Newton County Juvenile Justice System, girls from Project Adventure and women from The Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter in Covington and the Henry Haven House, a shelter for battered women.

"We're giving back to people who have endured some hard times, and we're just showing them love from our hearts to theirs," Tyrell said. "I have experienced domestic violence myself, and I just want to give back as much as I can because I know what women go through. It's a personal thing."

The women enjoyed manicures, pedicures, facials and haircut styling and the boys even enjoyed their pampering.

"We gave them haircuts, but all of them also wanted manicures," Tyrell said. "They all got clear nail polish. You can't judge a book by its cover -- you just got to treat them with love."

The DTC Student Government Association and the Criminal Justice Club also pitched in to help, volunteering their time to organize and run the event, providing food and even donating men's, women's and children's clothes to the families. Local organizations also provided donations to the event.

"Every time you give back to the community, it always helps the community," said Arnold Taylor, a cosmetology instructor at DeKalb Technical College. "I use this as a teaching tool. ... They're learning to give back and learning to make contacts. They're learning what it means to be in a true service industry."

The school will enter the event into the annual Skills USA service project competition later this year.