FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 9, 2015) – As part of the seventh annual Grande Dames Tea, The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA) is offering seven scholarships to current and former students of the PACE Center for Girls of Lee County.

Each scholarship will include $2,000 that is applied to tuition for the cosmetology program at TSPA’s Fort Myers campus – the only accredited cosmetology school in Southwest Florida recognized by Redken for excellence in education.

“Michel Doherty, heading the Grande Dames Scholarship committee, reached out to us, and we were more than happy to jump on this partnership with them on these scholarships,” said Chris Lewis, president of TSPA Ft. Myers. “PACE has given these young women hope, and we want to do our part to help them move forward to become successful in our community.”

Applications are open to any current or former PACE student who qualifies and are due by Friday, April 3 for classes starting in June to October 2015. Full-time courses begin every four weeks with part-time classes beginning in June. Full-time courses are completed in nine months, while part time takes 14 months. A high-school diploma or GED is required. The Academy also accepts Florida Prepaid College Plans and financial aid from those who qualify.

Because PACE is a part of the Lee County School District, PACE girls are also eligible for 13 scholarships TSPA recently made available through The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc.

To apply, PACE students should contact Rachel Rubinski at 239-425-2366 or, or contact TSPA admissions office at 239-208-3958.

“We are so appreciative to businesses like TSPA being proactive in helping us lead these women to become productive members of our community,” said Meg Geltner, executive director of PACE. “Redken is an industry leader in both hair care and education for salon professionals, and by partnering with TSPA on these scholarships, we feel we are positioning our students for long, successful careers in the industry.”

The Grande Dames Tea honoring Sharlene Hamel Dozier of Fort Myers, M. Jacqueline McCurdy of Bonita Springs and Melvin Morgan of Fort Myers will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 20 at the Broadway Palm, located at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers. The Grande Dames Tea was originated by PACE to honor women who have played major roles in Southwest Florida history through decades of service, philanthropy and helping others.

The agenda for the tea will include interaction between the PACE girls and the three Grande Dames in a question-and-answer format.

Seats for the tea are $60 per person and can be reserved either online at or by calling 239-470-7648.

PACE Center for Girls is a Florida-based nonprofit organization and the only statewide prevention program for adolescent at-risk girls in the nation. It is a non-residential program targeting the unique needs of girls, ages 12 to 18 years old, facing challenges such as physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, foster care, neglect, death of a parent, family history of incarceration and declining grades. In the past year, the Lee County program provided 116 girls with education, counseling, training and advocacy, resulting in 94 percent having no involvement with juvenile justice within six months of leaving PACE, 88 percent improving their academic performance and 80 percent remaining in school or obtaining employment three years after leaving PACE. As a result, PACE reduces the significant long-term costs associated with teen pregnancy, substance abuse, unemployment and long-term economic dependency.

TSPA offers both a state-of-the-art school with the curriculum and training developed with Redken for individuals interested in becoming cosmetologists, as well as a salon area offering services to the public including hair color, haircuts, manicures, pedicures and skin care. All services are performed by students under the direction of a licensed cosmetology educator.

Salon services including hair, skin and nail treatments in the student salon are available Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and range from $6 to $35.

Redken 5th Avenue NYC is dedicated to instilling the principles of success to The Salon Professional Academies by creating a network of highly skilled salon professionals knowledgeable about Redken products, trends, techniques, marketing and business tools.

For more information, call 239-208-3958 or visit