Funtology: For more information, contact the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County call 770-532-8102 or visit www.boysgirlsclubs.com
For most little girls, a baby doll is their first toy. Then as they get older, a Barbie may enter the picture, allowing the little girls to brush her hair and dress her in different outfits.
TeQuilla Williams believes it is a creative outlet for young girls. But at some point, dolls are removed as playthings.
“Their creative side is taken away from them or they are told you can no longer play with the dolls,” the Gainesville woman said. “But what they were doing was taking away that creative ability, that art side of them, or that side of them that helps them to actually connect to the world.”
Williams, author of “Funtology Fundamentals, Interactive Cosmetology for Teens,” introduced a program to bridge that gap with a new program called Funtology.
“My mission statement is to bridge the gap from the Barbie doll over to the beauty doll,” she said.
Funtology teaches children how to care for their hair, nails and skin as well as focuses on the subjects of chemistry, electricity, anatomy and physiology. It builds on the creativity introduced with dolls such as Barbie to evolve into a solid foundation of cosmetology.
Williams introduced the program a year ago at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, and more than two dozen girls signed up for the program.
Jayme Jones, 13, heard about the program from her sister.
“Honestly before Funtology, I wasn’t really interested in cosmetology,” Jayme said, adding the program grew on her. “I really enjoyed it. I think it’s a good experience for young people.”
She said she believes the program is a great way to learn about cosmetology and decide if it is a possible career path for the future.
“You have to work in order to achieve what you want to do,” Jayme said. “You also have to work to achieve a hairstyle. So I see it as that — a hairstyle is a way to success.”
And the skills she learned in the program can be applied to any aspect of life, she said.
“It’s very fun and I encourage other people to actually do it,” Jayme said. “It’s a really good program and really helps a lot of people.”
Azhah Jackson, 13, agreed.
“I felt like the programs were legit,” she said. “They actually taught you things.”
To mark their completion of the Funtology program, Williams handed out certificates to 27 girls, ages 11-18, during a ceremony Aug. 9 at the Gainesville Civic Center.
Nadia Gray of Minnesota saw her daughter, ShaNaiya Thomas, receive her first certificate.
“She’s always been interested in hair,” Gray said. “It’s encouraging for the girls to have something to look forward to that can actually bring them into a career.”
Gray feels any program encouraging today’s youth to better themselves is a great addition.
In conjunction with the ceremony, students participated in the inaugural Healing Strands Continuing Education Workshop. Programs throughout the day gave cosmetology professionals a chance to earn required continuing education certifications. In one room, vendors displayed everything from makeup and nail essentials to clothes, cupcakes and CPR course.
The cosmetology presentations allowed the Funtology participants to witness a professional at work.
“I liked how when they were doing your makeup, they explained what they were doing and the best thing to do,” Azhah said. “There were a lot of teachable moments.”
Angela Goodridge, from Good Nursing and Medical Training in Norcross, was pleased with the event.
“(Williams’ is) empowering a lot of these girls,” Goodridge said. “She’s showing them entrepreneurship. She’s showing them about business, behavior and attitude.”
Goodridge is confident the girls will learn about professionalism and the importance of continuing education, not only in cosmetology, but in anything they choose to pursue.
“It’s not only about cosmetology,” Goodridge said. “It’s about customer service and laying good foundations. For them to see adults and role models.”
For more information, contact the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County by calling 770-532-8102 or visiting www.boysgirlsclubs.com.