Odalys Perez thought her graduation from beauty school guaranteed a fast launch into a new career. But when the state said she didn’t meet the requirements to get a license she turned to NBC6 Responds for help.
“We didn’t know what to do,” said Odalys.
She had been confident she could quickly make money as a barber.
“I see that the barber shops are always full,” Odalys said. “Hair always grows.”
But she said she didn’t understand why the state wouldn’t allow her to take her board exam since she completed all the classes she thought were needed to get her barber’s license.
It turns out that the school, New Concept Massage and Beauty School in Miami, wasn’t approved to teach a state-required HIV/AIDS course. So she said she contacted the school and was told the issue was resolved.
But Odalys said she got the same response about the school from the state on four additional attempts. Odalys and another graduate, Jaelys Rodriguez, were worried about making money to pay student loans.
“All of this is going to affect my loan. It’s going to affect my life and my baby’s life,” said Jaelys, a single mother.
That’s when they contacted NBC 6 Responds and Telemundo 51 Responde.
The school declined an on-camera interview but said that they were working with an “outside agency" so that the affected students could take the HIV course.
Since our contact with the school, both women have taken the course they needed and the school paid for it. Now both look forward to starting their new careers.
"I’m really excited because I actually get to accomplish my goals and get to practice my license and be a barber,” said Jaelys.
The school told us it is working with the state to get their HIV/AIDS course approved for an upcoming barber program, but they anticipate the approval could take weeks, even months.
The majority of students at the school haven’t had this problem because the HIV course for cosmetology students had been approved by the state.
Both Odalys and Jaelys plan to take their boards in the upcoming weeks.