TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – “I started doing makeup in high school,” explained Mikelange “Mickey” Touze, a student at the Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy, Tampa Bay’s only nationally-accredited esthetic and makeup artistry school. “It was the era of the brows, I started doing mini little tutorials on myself. I want to say, honestly, during the pandemic I really took my artistry seriously.”

Since she was a teen, Mickey says she knew she would be great at something. A first-generation American whose parents immigrated from Haiti, she applied to join DMBA as a student in June of 2020, but was unable to attend courses due to the cost of tuition.

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“My parents came here in ’96 and I was born in ’97 so they didn’t have that much time to get it together. So, all I’ve seen is hard work,” she said. “I have three older brothers. Two are in Haiti, one is here. So, growing up, my parents kind of invested in me. I was doing ballet very young. I have a karaoke machine because I thought I was going to be on American idol.”

In high school, Touze took a serious liking to the beauty industry. And after years of hard work, but just in time for the holidays, she recently became the recipient of the Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy’s Natasha Morris Memorial Scholarship, worth more than twelve thousand in funding.

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“I did the video and was like, ‘If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. To this day, Dolly knows, I got that call and I was like, ‘there’s no way’,” she said.

“The Natasha Morris Memorial is in honor of my Aunt Natasha. She recently lost her battle and fight with breast cancer,” said Dolly Monroe, Founder and CEO of the Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy in Tampa. She says the scholarship represented her aunt’s hard work ethic. “I thought the scholarship would be the perfect opportunity for me to allow other dedicated, hardworking women an opportunity to earn their esthetics license, all expenses paid for and covered by the academy. We do plan to do this every year moving forward.”

And it’s the first step to help Mickey fulfill her dream in the growing beauty industry starting at the turn of the new year.

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“When my time comes, it will come and that will be that so who knows what the future holds,” said Touze.