Rosemarie Cameron - Building herself from the ground up
Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer
Born in the hills of Browns Town district in Point Hill St Catherine, Rosemarie Cameron is the standard by which resilience is measured.
The proprietor of St Catherine Beauty Academy, she told Flair that she is happy about the positive turn her life has taken after getting pregnant at just age 15. Cameron said she felt doomed when she was kicked out of Dinthill Technical in 1994. She told Flair that being the first child for her parents, she was deemed a big failure. "My father's heart was broken," she tells Flair, adding, "I had to redeem myself."
Being a teenage mother was not easy and Cameron was faced with the task of earning a living for herself and her son. "I have always been able to comb hair very well, so I started to do it in my community on my veranda to make a living," Cameron said.
"As I progressed through the struggles, I realised that there must be a comeback, hence I decided to embark on some studies," said Cameron. She said she realised that she needed an education to be successful.
"My journey commenced with me doing correspondent courses," she revealed, adding that her aim by then was to open a beauty school.
"I can remember doing my first CXC examination 20 years after leaving school. It was a shock as my classmates were the same age as my son. I was pleased, however, when I passed my first two subjects and those results inspired me to keep trying." Cameron said with a smile.
"I read everything I got my hands on, then I started at HEART where I secured my Level II Certificate in cosmetology." It was then that she launched her beauty salon at home in Sydenham. "I saw where continued certification was necessary as I needed to have a hands-on approach, then I started to get certification in all aspects of beauty culture," Cameron revealed.
She told Flair that she was in the middle of her Bachelor's Degree in Applied Technology and Beauty Services from the Vocational Training Development Institute when then embarked on teaching persons to develop their skills in cosmetology.
Through correspondent courses from Dudley's Cosmetology University in North Carolina, Cameron received advanced training and certification in wig making, and as a nail technician. Now with her dream realised, she is able to pass on her knowledge through her beauty academy. "I see where I have touched the lives of scores of women who are inspired by my story." Cameron said.
According to one of her students, Melissa Cole, "She is a tower of strength to me as I really look up to her as a teacher, mother, friend and confidant." The same sentiments were expressed by Cameron's fellow teachers at the academy.