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South Jersey cosmetology school receiving grant from Beyoncé's foundation

Jana's Cosmetology Academy to receive grant from Beyoncé's foundation
Jana's Cosmetology Academy to receive grant from Beyoncé's foundation 02:40

CLEMENTON, N.J., (CBS) -- Beyoncé's newly launched haircare line Cécred and her charity BeyGOOD will be jointly funding a $500,000 grant to cosmetology schools and salons in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New Jersey, with the specific sites chosen for their "large, diverse community" of hair stylists.

Jana's Cosmetology Academy in Clementon, New Jersey, is one of them. The school's CEO, Atiya Johnson, believes in preparing the next generation of beauty professionals to understand their passion comes with a purpose.

"I say all the time, this is not a talent, it's a gift, and when you have a gift, we have a moral obligation to make people look beautiful," she said.

The majority of Johnson's students are African American, and she said it's important she teaches them to master the skill of styling hair like their own.

"When I was in cosmetology school, in a nine-month program there were only about two weeks of information on African American and textured hair," Johnson said. "But in our program, we put a lot of emphasis on textured hair."

The beauty school was selected for a $50,000 grant from Beyoncé's BeyGOOD Foundation. Johnson said the star's charity searched high and low on the East Coast for a cosmetology program that specifically focuses on textured hair, which is also a priority of Beyoncé's new hair care line, Cécred. 

"It's so surreal, it's a surreal moment," Johnson said. "I've been a Beyoncé fan all my life."

And much like Beyoncé, Johnson grew up in her mother's hair salon — the same salon, Jana's Hair Studio, that she took over at just 17 years old and continues to run.

"My mother was a hair stylist, and she was pregnant with me while going to cosmetology school," Johnson said. "My grandmom also was a hairstylist, both mom and dad sides did hair."

"For me, initially it started because I didn't want my mom's legacy to die, and then it became a love," she said.

A love for hair, her clients, and since 2021, her students. With BeyGOOD's $50,000 grant, five deserving hairstylists in training will receive $10,000 scholarships to cover tuition at Jana's Cosmetology Academy.

"There's a list of students [who] want to come to school but they can't afford it," Johnson said. "So [the BeyGOOD Scholarship] for a student will change their life. You can go to school for something that you love to do."

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