April 22, 2017 | Carolina Haven | Columbia, SC | 9pm-2am

Courtney Hicks is a sophomore at the College of Charleston majoring in Communications and minoring in African American studies. A graduate from Georgetown High School, in Georgetown South Carolina, she was offered the privilege of becoming a licensed cosmetologist through their technical program. Always having a love for beautifying others through healthy and creative hair care and styling, Courtney created Collegiate Curls.  As President and Founder of Collegiate Curls, Courtney is able to create a positive environment for minority students through the first natural hair organization of its kind on the campus.  Collegiate Curls is a minority empowerment organization created to uplift, empower, and support multicultural students as they embrace their natural beauty through healthy hair and skin care practices. In effort to make a difference in her hometown she recently created the Courtney C. Hicks Student of Ambition Scholarship program, which awards two book scholarships to well deserving high school seniors in her community. Through her campus involvement and academic excellence Courtney was nominated for Outstanding Student of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year at the college.

Name one well known individual that exemplifies versatility and how?

Janelle Monae is the epitome of versatility.  From the beginning of her music career she defied the norms, refused to wear her hair in traditional styles, and redefined femininity through her choice of clothing.  Not only is she versatile physically, but also mentally.  Her thought process is breathtaking, and she aims to make a difference in the African American community through activism, acknowledging the unsung heroes in our community, and empowering young women to be the best they can be.

How do you use your passion to illuminate change in the world?

At the College of Charleston only 10% of the 10,000 undergraduate students are students of color. This lack of representation can have a strong effect on the mindset of students of color, and can make them feel discouraged before they even start. Being passionate about hair and skin care I saw a unifying topic that could bring the masses together, hair. Founding Collegiate Curls over 100 students are able to meet to discuss not only hair care but shared struggles on our campus, plans to increase our diversity, and maintain a strong community.  In the fall Collegiate Curls will be branching out to two other PWI’s in the state and to empowering everyone that they too belong.

If you could leave one lasting Impression on others what would it be and why?

The lasting impression I would like to have on others would be that Courtney really cares about everyone she comes in contact with.  Being a nurturing person, a lot of what I do revolves around servant leadership.  If I can help someone in any way I will find a way to do such.  Leadership is not about being in charge, or being the boss, but being a resource to others in the time in which they need you most.


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