Watch Now: ‘Exude beauty, radiate love’ | RUSD’s new club teaches young girls about makeup and confidence | Local News

RACINE — Beauty may only be skin deep, but it doesn’t hurt for the outside to match the inside, especially during a time as pivotal as adolescence in middle school.

That is one of the messages of the Racine Unified School District’s new Beauty Club, an after-school program for tweens run by local business owners Tyrah Edwards and Antanisha Robinson.

While at the Beauty Club — which is held once a week at Gilmore, Jerstad-Agerholm, Mitchell and Starbuck middle schools — students will learn how to do hair and nails, and even apply eyelashes and makeup, through hands-on activities. Along the way, they’ll learn about self-confidence and inner beauty by reflecting on what it all means to them.

“We didn’t have this when we were kids,” the women told the 16 girls during a class at Jerstad-Agerholm two weeks ago. “So we wanted to bring it to you.”

An emphasis on self-esteem

Modeling her vision board

Tyrah Edwards, one of the teachers of The Beauty Club for the Racine Unified School District, presents her vision board while doing a catwalk across the art room inside Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School, 3601 Lasalle St., on Jan. 24. 

Diana Panuncial

The first week of Beauty Club, students were prompted to create a vision board, cutting up magazines and pasting images and phrases of what they resonated with on the topic of beauty and fashion.

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When they finished, they did a catwalk, showing off their vision boards to their classmates as they walked across the room.

It was something that Edwards and Robinson did first, to encourage the other girls.

“We’re all in this together,” Edwards said.

Antonio Crane

Antonio Crane is the director of extended learning for the Racine Unified School District.

Antonio Crane, director of extended learning for RUSD, said the idea for the club came after middle school-aged girls expressed interest in wanting to learn more about beauty.

That interest worked in tandem with Crane’s longstanding wish to implement a program that addressed young black and brown girls’ social, emotional and learning support concerns. However, The Beauty Club, Crane noted, is inclusive of all.

“The point is of this club is to give them an opportunity to accentuate and elevate the beauty that all of them already inherently possess within themselves … Because when people look better, they feel better,” Crane said. “When they feel better, they do better, so everything around them gets better.”

The word “power,” next to a drawn image of a black woman wearing a shirt that says, “I can and I will” are pasted on the beginnings of a Beauty Club member’s vision board. 

Diana Panuncial

In middle school, kids are still discovering their identity while their appearances are changing, which can be a sensitive time for one’s self-esteem and self-perception, Edwards and Robinson said.

“We just let them express themselves, let them know that it’s safe,” Edwards said. “We’re creating a sisterhood for these girls.”

Pursuing careers

The Beauty Club also hopes to open students’ minds to careers in cosmetology, or the study and application of beauty services.

Edwards owns Beautifully Bold out of Racine, specializing in doing eyelashes. Robinson owns Crowned by Cori, a hair salon inside Sola Salon Studios, 13200 Globe Drive, Mount Pleasant.

At Mitchell School

From left, Antinisha Robinson and Tyrah Edwards pose in front of Mitchell School, 2713 Drexel Ave. They are the instructors of The Beauty Club, which is held once a week at Gilmore, Jerstad-Agerholm, Mitchell and Starbuck middle schools.

The two have been friends since high school and have recently reconnected in support of each other’s businesses.

Modeling her vision board

Tyrah Edwards, one of the teachers of The Beauty Club for the Racine Unified School District, presents her vision board while doing a catwalk across the art room inside Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School, 3601 Lasalle St., on Jan. 24. 

Diana Panuncial

Edwards said it gratifies her to know that she can be a person that the girls in the club look up to. “They’re seeing that firsthand, you can do it all. Because I’m a wife and a mom, I’m a business owner. I exude beauty, I radiate love.”

She continued, “People don’t understand how much inclusion and seeing someone that looks like you — how much that matters … and builds us for the person we become.”

Robinson called herself a “walking billboard” as a person who has “all of these things that technically society works against.” She is a black woman who is part of the LGBTQ+ community.


From left, Tyrah Edwards and Antanisha Robinson, longtime friends and teachers of The Beauty Club for Racine Unified School District, work side-by-side at Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School on Jan. 24. 

Diana Panuncial

“I have a little girl and she is so herself,” Robinson said. “I don’t think I knew who I was when I was that young. And I know it’s because I didn’t have a person who was helping me come into myself and realize I was beautiful, my hair was beautiful.”

She added, “We just want to help at least one girl who is a part of this, inspire them to go out and do whatever it is they want to do.”

A future showcase

The Beauty Club currently has a waiting list of students — from inside RUSD to outside, as the program is open to any middle school students in the area — eager to join the program next year. Resources only allowed for 16 students at each of the middle schools to be in the club.

The club will run until the middle of May, Crane said, with a special event to mark the students’ “graduation” from the program.

The event will be a fashion show and exhibition at a date and location to be announced, where all four clubs will come together and showcase what they have learned to the public.


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