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Not a Victim: What Good Can Come out of Palmdale?

Updated: Sep 19, 2022

["Creative Commons Palmdale California" by Rennett Stowe, used under CC BY / original can be found here]

Written by: Adriana Salcedo

Hey, you! Yeah, YOU! Did you know that you are created to change the world? Did you know there is only one of you? That no one can ever replace you? You are made to fill a need that goes far beyond you. You are an original, not a copy, and have been created for a purpose.

What if I were to say that your education, background, or upbringing does not define you? After all, isn’t this America where we are known to live the American dream? We all have a story. We all have setbacks. Some of us have had great comebacks, while others are still in the setback stage waiting for the opportunity to step into a comeback. If this is you, wait no longer. Start creating your victory now. We at Beauty for Ashes International want to partner with you and be a part of your journey to win back what was lost and resurrect what is dead.

Success isn’t an event, it's a journey. I am a licensed hairstylist and have been for 16 years. The beauty world is very familiar with John Paul Mitchell Systems. Did you know one of its founders, John Paul DeJoria was homeless, not once, but twice? Yes, you read that correctly, twice! According to Laura Franta-Abdalla’s article, “11 Very Successful Business People Who Had a Tough Time in Their 20s,” the first time he was homeless, he was 22 years old. If this wasn’t bad enough, he also had a 2-year-old child to worry about.

The second time was when he started the $900,000,000 a year hair care company. In 2021,

DeJoria was a billionaire on the Forbes 400 list. DeJoria informed Forbes that all entrepreneurs should, “Be prepared for a lot of rejection– people saying 'no' to the service or the product you want to sell. People saying, 'Oh, it's too difficult. I don't want to do it.' If you knock on 100 doors and they all say 'no,' on door 101, be just as enthusiastic."

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Wendy Davis. As reported by Franta-Abdalla, Wendy Davis is a Texas state senator who obtained national attention on June 13, 2013, “when she spoke for 13 hours to filibuster the passing of the bill that further restricted abortion rights for women in the state.” Davis graduated from Harvard law and she has held seats in her city and state government for 15 years. Yet, as a young mother in her 20’s, she was divorced. Because of unfortunate circumstances, she had to drop out of Texas Arlington University due to insufficient funds. During this time, she worked as a receptionist and waitress. It was only at a later point that she remarried and enrolled in community college to continue her education.

Davis shared with the New York Times how she struggled with insecurities. She felt as if she hadn’t done enough in her education. “I had a lot of insecurities about not having done enough with myself. And I remember so vividly when [my husband] would talk to peers and they would talk about, you know, their education or their travels, fine wines or foods, I just felt so left out of those conversations. And I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder about it. And so I wanted to prove to myself, more than anything, that I could be one of those people, too. I could get an education like that, too."

Another triumphant story is Steve Jobs’, one of the founders of Apple, Inc.. Forbes now ranks Apple as the world's most valuable brand. Yet at one moment, Jobs dropped out of college after only 6 months, mentions Franta-Abdalla. His reason was that he thought it was too expensive. He lived with his parents when he started Apple out of their garage. At the age of 30, his board of directors terminated him from his own company. This didn’t stop resilient Jobs from starting neXT and Pixar. This eventually brought him back to Apple after the company purchased neXT.

I love Jobs’ inspiring commencement speech to Stanford graduates. "I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

Last but not least, is a story that comes from our own backyard. Palmdale is home to a lot of successful entrepreneurs, one of them being Paul George. According to David Nurse, “Paul George is a graduate of Pete Knight High School. He put in the work and now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers and is an 11-year NBA veteran. As a high school player, he helped Pete Knight High School take part in the CIF finals. Today, he runs a basketball academy called “Paul George Elite.” Paul used his great success to help expose high school players to college coaches creating opportunities for recruitment.

With these stories, our goal is to inspire our community to never give up, give in, and lose heart. Be courageous and stand against the lie, “What good can come out of Palmdale!?” Now, go out and change the world. Better yet, change your city, Palmdale is waiting for you.

We would love to sit with you, hear your story, and drink a cup of coffee. Come and see us at Butler’s Coffee.


Beauty for Ashes International

Adriana Salcedo

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