LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A Southern California woman has a unique approach to preparing kids for the future. Even though they're still in elementary school, the skills the students are learning at Boss Kids Braiding Academy could set them up for the rest of their lives.
"I love it. It's really fun. I've had some hard times but it's really fun to learn how to braid," said Mi'auri Miguel.
Boss Braiders owner Pashyon Jackson created this academy as a means to teach kids in her community a valuable and often lucrative trade. Students ages 6 to 17 can sign up and learn everything from how to braid and crochet, to wig making.
"I'm trying to get as many youths as a I can to give them that skill that can take them and flourish them for the rest of their lives," said Jackson.
Students receive a supply kit and a free lunch whenever they attend. The academy is free, though Jackson does ask for a donation, whatever parents or students are able to give.
"I'm very proud of Pashyon and the passion that she has to have wanted to build this foundation for the kids. They are our future and that's what it's all about," said Instructor Estella Norris.
Jackson knows firsthand how helpful exposure is to jumpstarting a career. She began working at her father's Santa Ana barbershop when she was in middle school.
"I started off at 9 years old just like these kids practicing on a doll head," said Jackson. "By the age of 13 he had me in shop making money."
Classes at the Boss Kids Braiding Academy typically run a few weeks. And upon completion, some students have gotten hired to work in salons. Jackson says hair braiders can earn as much 2,000 dollars per month.
You can find Boss Kids Braiding Academy in Lancaster, at the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale and on Instagram.