May 26, 2024

Like most teens, Jakayla Bridges spent hours in front of a mirror, perfecting her makeup techniques.

And what started out as a hobby six years ago would lead the Milwaukee native to start a nonprofit to help teens get ready for prom and eventually launch her own cosmetics brand years later. 

Bridges learned the ins and outs of contouring, applying eyeshadow and blending while working at Ulta Beauty and often posting how-to videos on YouTube. Soon, she became the go-to person for doing makeup for high school students getting ready for prom. 

But it was while working at Vincent High School on the northwest side in 2022 that Bridges heard a familiar story: