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Beyoncé Scholarship Winner ‘Shocked’ to Receive Cécred Grant

Beyoncé’s BeyGood charity has recently selected its first round of students to benefit from its new Cécred scholarship, leaving recipients elated and hopeful for their future. One such recipient, Jacora Smart, expressed her disbelief and excitement over this opportunity that allows her to chase her dreams more fervently.

In April, BeyGood announced the winners of its $500,000 Cécred X BeyGood fund. This fund supports 25 students from five different cosmetology schools and 25 salon business owners facing financial hardships, each receiving a $10,000 grant or scholarship to continue their valuable work in their communities.

By June, the organization had already chosen the second round of winners specifically for the business grant.

Jacora Smart, a 29-year-old student at Beaver Beauty Academy in Decatur, Georgia, is among the first five winners of the Cécred scholarship. Before the application process began, Beyoncé’s hairstylist Neal Farinah and Cécred’s Director of Education Dr. Kari Williams visited Smart’s school to showcase products and engage with students.

“They wanted to understand our financial needs and our community perspectives within the beauty industry,” Smart shared. She emphasized that the alignment of their values with Cécred’s mission was a key focus during these interactions.

Other awardees from Beaver Beauty Academy include Christina Chatman, Curtissa Butts, Marcus Boatwright, and Sevaya Sayavong.

Smart highlighted the importance of presenting a portfolio showcasing her hair styling and makeup work as part of the application process. Deeply motivated, she sent her application with high hopes.

On winning, Smart, an ardent Beyoncé fan, remarked, “It means everything to me.” She mentioned that she had manifested this moment, feeling deep down that it was meant for her, despite being initially shocked.

The scholarship will help cover her tuition at Beaver Beauty Academy. Smart expressed immense relief, knowing that her financial burdens would be alleviated once she completes her education.

Smart is already actively building her client base and looks forward to obtaining her license as a master cosmetologist after graduating. Her ultimate ambition is to establish a beauty supply store akin to Sephora and Ulta but with a dedicated focus on Black people’s needs, particularly within the beauty realm.

“Hair is a massive cornerstone of our culture, especially as Black women,” Smart said passionately. She aims to ensure that the specific needs of Black women are met, recognizing the economic impact of their spending in the haircare and cosmetics industries.

The aspirations and passion driving Smart’s dreams are evident as she focuses on empowering and meeting the needs of Black women within the beauty industry. “Our dollar goes so far,” she highlighted, emphasizing the substantial annual expenditure on haircare and cosmetics by Black individuals.

Smart hopes to leave a lasting impact in the beauty industry, mirroring the influence of Beyoncé, known as the “Ya Ya” singer. She wants to address issues of anti-Blackness and provide a comforting, inclusive experience in beauty supplies, reflecting her own cherished experiences growing up.

Beyoncé launched her Cécred brand in February, first teasing it on Instagram the previous May. She opened up about her experiences growing up in her mother’s hair salon and the profound impact of nurturing and celebrating hair. “I watched her heal and be of service to so many women,” Beyoncé wrote, expressing her desire to carry on her mother’s legacy.

Since its launch, Cécred has garnered praise from fans of various hair types and textures and won accolades from notable beauty publications such as Women’s Health and Self magazine.

Source: USA Today