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On Your Corner. In Your Corner: Irving barber shop offers more than fresh new dos

Irving barber shop offers more than fresh new dos
On Your Corner. In Your Corner: Irving barber shop offers more than fresh new dos 02:10

IRVING ( - Stephanie Marquez is fueled by the determination to make a difference in the lives of Irving's youth. Mostly, because she wishes she had more support growing up. 

"I didn't enjoy school growing up," Marquez confessed. "I was always getting into trouble."

As her teenage years unfolded, Marquez stumbled upon her unexpected passion for barbering. A career path she had never considered, led her to take a leap of faith.

She now owns her own thriving barber shop in Irving and is looking to do more.

"I want to give back," Marquez said.

It's exactly why she opened MarqBlendz Barber Academy. Her ultimate aim is to inspire Irving's youth to reach for greatness from an early age and keep them off the streets and out of trouble. 

The school opened just a few weeks ago in late July, the academy has already enrolled 17 students, including some as young as 14 years old.

"I treat everyone like family. We're a judgment-free," she said. "I want to show the kids that if I can overcome a certain situation, they can too," she said. 

Angel Villegas, a student at the academy, attests to its transformative impact.

"She's my first and best mentor. I never looked up to anybody. I look up to her. She has her own shop and her own school. It's really great. I want to have my own name one day," Villegas said.

The only requirements? A love for barbering, and a commitment to staying the course.

"I tell them to finish high school because it's still important. That's an accomplishment. That's something I wish I had done," Marquez said. "I just want them to become what they want to become."

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