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Red carpet event raises money to open a beauty school for survivors of human trafficking



Rochester, New York — A beauty school for survivors of human trafficking will be opened in Rochester after a red carpet hair show Friday night raised money.

The founder of Miss Julie’s School of Beauty, Julie Chapus, hosted the first-ever event, where 100% of proceeds go to opening her non-profit cosmetology school.

Chapus’ school will be the first-of-its-kind school, providing vocational training to those at risk and survivors of human trafficking at no cost.

Diamonds in the Rough, was Friday’s event featuring a hair show from local models and survivors.

“Because we’re ‘Diamonds in the Rough,’ I thought how cool would it be to have some of our girls walk with these crazy diamonds that I’ve made because ultimately our students are diamonds and they’re really coming out of some very rough situations. And so we just felt like let’s have some fun and show people what their artistry is and what we can do as Miss Julie’s School of beauty,” Chapus said.

A silent auction to help raise money for the school’s building was also a path of the event, including hot air balloon tickets to fly over Letchworth State Park.

“We’ve had so many members from the community of Rochester just outpour, the outpouring has been amazing of the people that are just being so kind and generous,” Chapus said.

According to Chapus, it will offer a chance for many women to make a livable wage.

“Without a way to make a real viable, thriving, living with a good solid paycheck that you can raise children on, that you can have a home on, that you can have a vehicle on, it’s just totally lacking. It’s missing. 100% missing. And so we felt like there’s a great need, and it’s just not being met yet,” Chapus said.

“We are going to meet that need and are going to help especially the traffic survivors that are stuck in that cycle of now what? And they oftentimes will end up back on the street because they don’t have a sustainable job to keep them off of the streets. And so I feel like offering this is truly a way to break out of that cycle, that bondage and you never have to go back.”

The event was held from 7 p.m. to 10 pm at the Century Club of Rochester.