Senior citizens receive special Mothers Day thank you

A senior citizen has her blood pressure checked.

On Friday, May 9 twenty-two senior citizens received an early Mother’s Day gift. Cleveland Heights High School’s cosmetology program and the Diversified Health Occupations program sponsored Pamper Yourself From Head to Toe Day. The seniors were able to choose from a range of free services including hair styling, manicure, facial, or pedicure with an accompanying massage. Seniors received blood pressure checks and were presented with flowers before leaving. Parent Ambassadors to Heights (PATH) and the Office on Aging at the Cleveland Heights Community Center helped to organize the special day.

The cosmetology program’s salon is located at the school district’s Taylor Academy building. Starting junior year, a student can enroll in the two-year program that features a full service salon/learning center open during the school year under the guidance of two licensed instructors, Lenora Cruz-Price and Donna Pollard. On this day, students gave back to the community and said thank you to the senior citizens.

Many of the special customers commented that they did not know the salon existed. Carol Staiger was happy that she signed up. “I’m so glad to learn about this resource. I had a pedicure and it was delightful,” she said. “For seniors on a fixed income this is a wonderful place. The prices are very reasonable,” explained another senior as she sat having her nails done. “I plan on coming back again and telling all my friends about this. I wish they were open all year round.”

Donna Pollard, instructor for the senior cosmetology students, demonstrated one of her techniques for teaching the proper pressure to apply when giving a facial massage. As she stood behind a student, Ms. Pollard slowly moved her fingers along the student’s forehead while the student mimicked her movement on the client. “I used to try teaching this through lectures,” she explains, “but when they can feel the correct pressure I’m exerting, they quickly understand.” Ms. Cruz-Price agreed that this was crucial especially when working with senior citizens whose skin can be thinner and more fragile.

Throughout the long day, the students happily chatted with their clients as they painted finger and toenails and styled hair. Chatal Cook felt that the entire day was a fun experience and a good way of letting the senior citizens know about the Cosmetology salon. In addition to cosmetology, Chatal has a full class-load including AP German and AP English Composition. “I like cosmetology. I was always told to get a trade that would help pay for college, and this is it.” She wll attend Cleveland State University this fall and hopes to go to law school at Cornell University.

Two former students stopped in to say hello to their teachers. Alaina Powell (’07) is now attending Baldwin Wallace College and majoring in business with a minor in entrepreneurship. She hopes to eventually enter the athletic training field. “I got interested in athletic training when I learned about the anatomy and physiology of the face in cosmetology classes,” said Powell. “The essay that I wrote on just that subject for my college admissions even got me a college scholarship!” Katera Thomas (’07) agreed. “Cosmetology prepared me with the anatomy and physiology that I needed for the nursing assistant course I took.”

Residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights who would like to visit the cosmetology salon can make an appointment by calling 320-2372. The salon is open during the school year, Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Lita Gonzalez, a long time community volunteer, lives in Cleveland Heights with her husband Mark. Both her daughters are Heights High graduates.

Read More on Seniors
Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 5:50 PM, 05.16.2008