WHERE IT STARTED
When I was eight years old, my father and I went to Poland for a month to participate in an intense physical therapy program. The program was six days a week for six hours a day. I did not enjoy physical therapy, so my father made a deal with me. He told me that if I did my physical therapy, he would give me anything I wanted. I took full advantage of the situation and forced my dad to buy all the makeup in the store. Every Sunday on my rest day, I would do my makeup for hours, and when I was finished my dad always told me I looked beautiful, even though I had makeup all over my face. Ever since then, my dream was to become a makeup artist. In June 2015, my dream became my reality.
"My name is Stephanie Debes. I am the founder of The Makeup on Wheels Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of the disabled community. I am also a NYS Licensed & NCEA certified Esthetician, a makeup artist in SFX & Beauty, Event Planner and Disability Awareness Activist.
I was born with Cerebral Palsy Spastic Quadriplegia as a result of medical malpractice. All four limbs are affected, leaving me to use a motorized wheelchair 24/7. My condition limits my ability to perform most everyday tasks and renders me dependent on others. I was born five months premature. Doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t last three days. Twenty-eight years later, I’m defying the odds every single day."
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The Makeup on Wheels Foundation was founded by Stephanie Debes, a woman who is part of the disabled community; a community that is so often overlooked by the rest of the world.
Stephanie is a graduate of St. John’s University with a BA in Hospitality Management and Event Planning. She is also a certified beauty and special effects makeup artist and a New York State licensed and NCEA certified esthetician. Despite her education and specialization in the beauty field, potential employers could not see past her disability.