Dekala Cardine, born and raised on the West side of the city, graduated from Chicago Tech Academy High School in 2020 before deciding to enroll at City Colleges of Chicago this past fall.

Dekala first heard about the ACE (Advancing Chicago’s Education) scholarship in May 2021 from an email from City Colleges, which sparked her interest and helped ease her initial concerns about having enough extra money to commute to school. Thanks to the ACE Scholarship, Dekala finally felt like she could consider enrolling in college classes.

“The ACE scholarship helped me tremendously,” says Dekala.

Coming from a family where everyone loves doing hair, she knew studying cosmetology would be a perfect fit. Dekala explored a few cosmetology programs in the city before eventually settling on the program at Truman College.

She says, “the cosmetology program was a great experience for me and helped me blossom in the exploration of different areas in addition to hair, such as learning about nails and skincare.”

Once Dekala is done with her cosmetology program, she wants to continue her education at City Colleges by earning an Advanced Certificate in Barbering.

She hopes to one day open her own salon, and, with the help of City Colleges and the ACE Scholarship, she will be equipped with the right tools to do so.

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