Carman-Ainsworth High School graduate Jalondria Dhrubo is following her dreams. After graduating from high school and TeenQuest she went on to Mott Community College where she obtained a Nail Technician/Salon Management Certificate and a Cosmetology Certificate.
“After college, I worked in a salon for a brief time,” says Dhrubo. “Then I realized I wanted to create a space that was more intimate and personal.”
Dhrubo transitioned to working from home for a while, then in 2020 she began renting space in a salon suite on Linden Road, which houses over 20 independent cosmetologists. But she didn’t stop there.
While working with clients, Dhrubo found that her customers were looking for haircare products that worked well with natural hair but were struggling to find what they needed. She took that opportunity to start her all-natural hair care product line, which she now sells to her clients and other local customers.
“The products I make have no harsh chemicals and are sustainable,” says Dhrubo. “I made products with ingredients that are familiar to my clients. And they can trust my products because I would never sell someone something I wouldn’t use myself.”
Dhrubo, owner of J. Nicole Custom, is continuing to work in her dream job and build her hair care businesses, crediting the confidence she had to do so to her time in TeenQuest.
How did lessons learned in TeenQuest/SYI help you on the path to your current career?
It taught me responsibility and how to show up for myself professionally. Our facilitator, Mr. Richardson, always gave me advice. He’d say, “You’re a hard worker but you have to keep that motivation.” That has always stuck with me.
What is one of your favorite memories from SYI?
Working at the Food Bank was amazing. I thought it was fun to work on an assembly line. I also thought the mission of the Food Bank was really cool. It opened my mind to understanding there are people in my community that need help and I was able to have a part in helping them.
What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?
Don’t take the experience or knowledge that is available to you for granted. The people you met could be lifelong connections even after the program.
What has been your proudest moment since TeenQuest?
Having the opportunity to start working at a young age through TeenQuest, some of my proudest moments have been compliments on my work ethic and the way I carried myself in jobs I had afterward. Having my leaders see that in me helped me believe in myself and led me to be self-employed.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.