Red carpet event raises money to open local cosmetology school for survivors of human trafficking

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A red carpet hair show Friday night raised money to open a beauty school for survivors of human trafficking in Rochester.

Julie Chapus, the founder of Miss Julie’s School of Beauty, hosted the first-ever event, where 100% of proceeds go to opening her non-profit cosmetology school.

News 8 first told you about Chapus’ school in September. It will be a first-of-its-kind school, providing vocational training to those at risk and survivors of human trafficking at no cost.

Friday’s event, called Diamonds in the Rough, featured a hair show from local models and survivors.

“Because we’re ‘Diamonds in the Rough,’ I thought how cool would it be to have some of our girls walk with these crazy diamonds that I’ve made, because ultimately our students are diamonds and they’re really coming out of some very rough situations. And so we just felt like let’s have some fun and show people what their artistry is and what we can do as Miss Julie’s School of beauty,” Chapus said.

There was also a silent auction to help raise money for the school’s building, including hot air balloon tickets to fly over Letchworth State Park.

“We’ve had so many members from the community of Rochester just outpour, the outpouring has been amazing of the people that are just being so kind and generous,” Chapus said.

The event also brought awareness and education to the school and why it’s so important it opens in Rochester. Chapus said it will offer a chance for many women to make a livable wage.

“Without a way to make a real viable, thriving, living with a good solid paycheck that you can raise children on, that you can have a home on, that you can have a vehicle on, it’s just totally lacking. It’s missing. 100% missing. And so we felt like there’s a great need, and it’s just not being met yet,” Chapus said.

“We are going to meet that need and are going to help especially the traffic survivors that are stuck in that cycle of now what? And they oftentimes will end up back on the street because they don’t have a sustainable job to keep them off of the streets. And so I feel like offering this is truly a way to break out of that cycle, that bondage and you never have to go back.”

The event took place from 7 p.m. to 10 pm at the Century Club of Rochester.

You can learn more about the school and donate to their cause by clicking here.

   

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