Diamond Mercades McCall, 25, graduated from our Cosmetology Department in 2014. Prior, she became a single mother at 16, graduated from E.E. Smith. Her mother did tell her to go to college – no other options. She didn’t want to waste her time or money on a profession she didn’t like. Choosing the cosmetology path stemmed from a suggestion by one person – McCall’s mother. This is McCall’s story in her words:
“As I was doing my daughter’s hair one night, my mother recommended, ‘Why don’t you go to school for hair? You’re so creative!’ I started to really think about it…what if I did go to school for hair? So in 2012, I enrolled in FTCC’s Cosmetology Department. The start of my cosmetology career with this department was very intense, yet very rewarding. One of my favorite and most memorable teachers was Mrs. Juanita Williams. She was the hardest on me, but I was able to retain the most information from her style of teaching. She believed in challenging my skills and me. Every time I would submit my work, she would send it back in order for it to be more polished (She would always find a fly-away hair). Ms. Williams was very tough, but you couldn’t help but love her.
When I graduated, I got my first job at a high-profile salon in Pinehurst. Then, in 2016, I married my wonderful husband Mario, who has supported me since 2011, and we took our honeymoon to Walt Disney World in Florida. I found so much appreciation and joy in the hair and make-up application of all their performers; I researched how I could become a hair stylist and make-up artist at Disney and became one in 2017. I’ve wanted to take my skills even further and applied to be a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E) 798, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, Union.”
I.A.T.S.E is a union representing more than 100,000 technicians and craftspeople working in the entertainment industry across the nation and Canada. Local 481 members work in areas such as set construction, first aid, set decoration, set teachers, video assist and more, according to the union’s website. McCall shared more about the process and her time at Fayetteville Technical Community College:
“The application process was very grueling, and I had to have three letters of recommendation only from professionals in the cosmetology field. That’s when I went back to my roots at FTCC and met with Mrs. Williams. She was very proud and gave me a wonderful letter of recommendation. I got an interview, and I was accepted to become a member. As soon as I was accepted, I sent Mrs. Williams a message thanking her for everything she has taught me and put me through [during] my two years in the Cosmetology Department. I’m very honored and thankful to be from Fayetteville, have attended FTCC and a part of the department.”
We, too, are honored, Diamond. #FTCCGraduate