I Deserve a Second Chance to Earn an Honest Living

I Deserve a Second Chance to Earn an Honest Living

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Pennsylvania’s Cosmetology Board won’t let me work in a salon.

I’m Courtney Haveman, and this is my 18-month old son Roman. I love being a stay-at-home mom watching him grow and explore the world, but I’d like to be able to support him by working as an esthetician—providing facials, waxing, and tweezing. I went to beauty school for six months at a cost of $6,000 but the Board won’t let me take the test to get my license.

The Cosmetology Board routinely rejects applicants because of criminal convictions, even if the convictions are years old and have absolutely nothing to do with cosmetology. I was shocked and heartbroken when I received the rejection letter. Years ago, I struggled with alcohol addiction. I wasn’t the same person when I drank, and I made bad choices that resulted in some misdemeanor convictions.

But I found a 12-Step program—where I met my incredible husband—and stayed out of trouble. Lots of people have had similar struggles, and my past has nothing to do with my ability to work at a salon. And, it turns out that barbers in Pennsylvania aren’t subject to the same standard!

That’s not fair, which is why I’ve joined with the Institute for Justice and another Pennsylvania woman to sue the board for our right to work. But people like me shouldn’t have to file a lawsuit just so they can work. I think people like me deserve a second chance. If you agree, sign my petition to tell the Cosmetology Board to stop keeping women from earning an honest living.