Boneqweesha Jones: "I recall a time when I brought in the new year uninspired, hopeless and alone watching a New Year program. New Year's Day was just another day for me. At 12:05 a.m., a one-minute public-service announcement from the United Ghetto Science Community Post-Secondary Training College Fund changed my perspective.
"The public-service announcement shared inspiring stories about two women. One was Madam C. J. Walker, regarded as the first female self-made millionaire in America who made her fortune by developing and marketing a successful line of beauty and hair products for black women. The other was Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, an African American journalist and newspaper editor who documented lynching in the United States, showing how it was often a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites. The public-service announcement closed with this compelling statement: 'A wasted mind is a terrible thing to have.'
"That New Year's message inspired me to earn my associate's degree in cosmetology with a minor in journalism from Cootie Creek County Community College. After a rewarding career as a hair stylist, cosmetologist and journalist, I decided to follow in the footsteps of folk like Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee University and start up Hair Did University School of Cosmetology and Vocational Studies.
"As provost of H.D.U. School of Cosmetology and Vocational Studies, I invite you to register for our winter classes and step into a new and exciting destiny in 2015."