Down Syndrome is no barrier to success for this student, and now she is well on her way of achieving her life goal of being a cosmetologist.
This past weekend, Cameron Northup graduated from the Arc Gateway Program for Adult Learning and Support at Pensacola State College, with a license in cosmetology after passing the state exam. She joined other Pensacola State graduates at a graduation ceremony at the Pensacola Bay Center. It was a thrill for her.
Beng a celebrity makeup artist and “Dancing with the Stars contestant are just a few of the items on her to-do list. 30 year old Northrup not only completed the PSC cosmetology program, but she has also placed in a regional ballroom dancing contest, and loves dancing and makeup. Being a self described “girlie girl” these interests came naturally to her.
“I hope everyone with disabilities has an opportunity to come to the program, because it’s wonderful,” says Northup. She has worked at CVS and also a two salons. During her cosmetology internship, she completed 30 facials and was often requested by customers.
Down Syndrome proved to be an obstacle, but not a barrier for Cameron. She graduated in 2005 from Washington High School with a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma. That hindered her from pursuing further education and training. “Every time we tried to turn in an application I’d have to say, ‘Well, you can’t get into this program, because you don’t have a regular diploma,’” said her mother, Charlotte Northup. Cameron was absolutely giddy when she heard the word “can” from Pensacola State College faculty and staff.