Pto by: Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette
Audrey Djatche, left, and Fanta Seck at Sister Sister African Beard Braiding in Urbana on Friday, Sept.11, 2015.
For the three immigrant women w own Sister Sister African Braiding, business is about abundant added than aloof hair.
After affective actuality from the African country of Mali to appear the University of Illinois in 2005, Fanta Seck opened Sister Sister with Audrey Djatche (from Cameroon) and Soukeye Dieng (from Senegal) as a way to acquire a little added money.
Ten years later, Seck has a master's in animal ability development and runs a active business that helps alternation and apply African immigrants in boondocks in the art of African beard braiding. With Sister Sister earning the Business Leadership Award at Saay's Champaign County Immigrant Welcome ceremony, Seck offered answers for a few questions.
What led you to alpha a beard braiding business back you confused actuality from Africa?
I came actuality with my master's amount in business administration. But already I get here, it was actual adamantine because I didn't allege English and the charge actuality is very, actual expensive. So the accessible affair for me was aloof to go and advice my auntie and complect and accomplish a little bit of money to alpha with. ... You don't charge to apperceive a accent to complect hair.
Tell us about your training program.
We advice them acquisition their aboriginal job because back you get to the United States, you accept to be able to allege English to accept a job. It's hard. Also, they accept no references, so back they alpha actuality we alpha by actuality their aboriginal employer.
We are about consistently able to let them ignment actuality afterwards they're trained. They don't get paid, but if they complete the training, they can complect and accomplish money from the client. They hire the berth and accept their own place.
Why is it important for you to advice added immigrants?
Because we (were) in the aforementioned situation. So now it's affectionate of an obligation for us — to do the aforementioned affair for our parents and bodies w appear from Africa. ... We don't accomplish any money from them; we aloof advice them to s.
Others actomed Saay with Welcome Awards by the Champaign-Urbana Clearing Forum:
Lucia Maldonado, a communication for Latino families in the Urbana academy district, for alive "countless urs acknowledging immigrant families."
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Dr. Bob Kirby, a lay baton at Champaign's Aboriginal Presbyterian Church, w "encouraged ociates of his aggregation to be actively complex in clearing amends and advancement issues."
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION AWARD
New Americans English as a Second Language, a affairs with one paid abecedary and 27 volunteers that accomplished English to 183 immigrants, refugees and all-embracing visitors from 33 countries amid September and June at Aboriginal Presbyterian.
STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD
Alberto Lara Valieso, a UI apprentice w in affiliation with Champaign's Unit 4 academy commune launched Nuestra Raises Latinas, a affairs advised to actuate immigrants to accompany college education.
Unit 4's All-embracing Prep Academy for Newcomers, a anew created clroom confined accouchement from fourthto eighthgrades w are acquirements English.
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