Alicia Green of The Cut Above salon, recently met with a group of 10 young women, ages 13-18, to offer hair and beauty tips along with guidance and encouragement as part Cromwell Youth Services’ partnership with the Teen Zone program.
Teen Zone Program Instills Confidence in Young Women
CROMWELL - Alicia Green from The Cut Above salon recently shared her talents in a meaningful way by volunteering her time to present style and grooming tips for young women, ages 13 - 18.

       Sensitive to the varying needs of her students, Green offered guidance, encouragement, reinforcement and constructive example to 10 young women participating in the Teen Zone program. Young ladies gained self-esteem in this positive learning experience sponsored by Cromwell Youth Services. Cromwell Youth Services received a $1,000 grant through the Woman’s Initiative of the United Way of Middletown to help fund the Teen Zone program.

       Over the course of eight weeks, the teens will interact with their peers and professionals to learn how to make their way through this important time of their lives, while having fun along the way. Professional colleagues facilitate sessions covering: skin care with DeAnn Mauri of The Spa of Essex, nutrition, hair with Alicia of The Cut Above of Cromwell, fashion with Deb Shops at Westfield Mall in Meriden, mindfulness and etiquette. The program ulminated in a celebratory graduation dinner at Amici’s in Middletown.

       “Teens have many pressures upon them, particularly the “‘at risk’ population, from the changes in their body, to the increasing social pressure,” said Cromwell Youth Services Program Director Marcia Sacco. “With these pressures, their personal self esteem can suffer. The natural desire to feel accepted can begin to take over their lives and they work to compare themselves against the images they see on television, magazines or the movies, in addition to those around them. They sometimes fail to recognize their own strengths and their own qualities when compared to the idealistic non-reality of the media. This pressure comes at a time when teens are saddled with more responsibility to choose between right and wrong, and to develop their own values and value system to live by.”

       Teen Zone facilitator Victoria Taylor said, “After working with teenage girls over the past 10 years, I realized that they all had something in common--no matter where they were from, their ethnicity, shape, size, family circumstances etc., it was low self esteem. They felt they weren’t thin enough, pretty enough, bright enough, etc., thus Teen Zone was born.”

       This program shows teens how to value themselves and take pride in what they do and say. Taylor developed Teen Zone to combat those feelings of inadequacy and how to make their way through this important time in their lives and to do while having fun along the way.

       “When the 10 girls first met, many were shy and tentative”, said Taylor. “By the third week, they were texting each other and using Facebook to stay in touch.”

       To date, in addition to Cromwell, the program has been presented in Essex, Deep River and Middletown, which is how Green learned of the program and visited Cromwell Town Hall last Wednesday evening to meet with the girls.

       Green discussed personal grooming tips with them and reviewed the variety of hairstyles, offering suggestions about hair care but also ideas about how to add that little extra touch that will make their hair, and the women who wear it, stand out. She urged the girls to wash their face every night and change their pillowcase every week to help keep their complexion clean. She added a woman shouldn’t go more than 6-8 weeks without getting a haircut.

       “Your hair gets stringy if you leave it too long,” Green explained. “It makes it look so much healthier if you get a trim.”

       Green didn’t start out to be a hairdresser. When she decided to become one, she took a year-long program to learn the basics.

       “I wish I’d had a lot of these tips when I was growing up,” she said.

       For more information on this program, visit