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Paying his dues: famed stylist in Yuma
For about 150 local kids 2010 is already starting off well, thanks to a program at the Yuma County Library District.
The program "New Year, New You" aims at helping boost self-esteem for "tweens" - children age 9-12. The program is funded through a grant from the Yuma Community Foundation in collaboration with Sturges Charitable Trust and Friends of Yuma County Libraries, Inc.
Yuma native and Beverly Hills Hair Stylist Nick Chavez visited the Main Library on Monday to help talk with the kids about being confident.
Chavez is a salon owner, hair stylist to the stars and owner of his own line of hair care products. He's done the famous locks of George Lopez, Queen Noor, Maria Shriver and Belinda Carlisle. He's also appeared on shows such as "The Young and the Restless" and "Hollywood Detectives."
Chavez's talk was one of five in the series that also included activities for the children.
Chavez spoke to about 20 children at the library Monday. The celebrity hair stylist told them to focus on their mind, body and spirit.
"And with spirt comes self esteem," he said.
Whatever your passion is, Chavez said, if you can turn it into a career, then it won't feel like work.
He said that when he was growing up his family didn't have any of the luxuries that he has today. And he got his start in hair dressing by working with horses.
Today Chavez wants to give back.
Especially, he said, because a lot of children today don't have anyone home a lot of the times, and he was fortunate to have his mother home all the time.
"My support system was my family," he said.
Chavez said it's important to speak to children and let them know how important education is and to surround yourself with good people who know the difference between right and wrong.
"When I've been as fortunate as I have, to have had the success that I've had, I think it's good to instill wonderful thoughts in the youths' minds ...and the youth of today can make a different tomorrow," he said.
Youth Services Manager Francisco Vargas said it's important for the children to have workshops such as this.
And it's also important, he said, to focus on technology and education.
"They need to get involved," Vargas said.
For more information about youth programs at the Yuma County Library District, visit www.yumalibrary.org.
After each child at the workshop stood up and asked a question - they answered one from Chavez: "What is your dream?"
Answers ranged from a nurse to a professional soccer player and everything in between - including the undecided.
Chavez said he never gave up on his dream, even though there were plenty of people criticizing him and making light of his goals.
"Don't let anyone ruin your dreams," he said. "And dream big."
Stephanie A. Wilken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6857.