A Texas teen who was denied a summer job at Six Flags Over Texas because of his hair, has turned lemons into lemonade after signing with a modeling agency.
When 17-year-old Fort Worth resident Kerion Washington showed up to an employment interview at Six Flags in March, he was told to cut his hair if we wanted a job.
“As I was filling out my application, they told me I couldn’t work there because of my dreadlocks,” Kerion told Chron.com. “They said it was against policy.”
Disappointed, Kerion walked outside to the parking lot where his mother, Karis Washington, was waiting for him.
“I called and they told me it’s an extreme hairstyle,” Karis told Chron.com. “His hair doesn’t have anything to do with his work ethic.”
It was Kerion’s first time applying for employment and the experience was disheartening, Karis said.
“Every teen wants to work at Six Flags. It was a dream job for him,” Karis said. “We were hoping he would get it.”
Karis took to Facebook and Instagram to vent her frustration. “I was sharing his experience, not trying to be negative,” she said.
Although her Facebook post, which has more than 17,000 shares as of Tuesday, quickly went viral, it was her Instagram post that caught the attention of Corrie Caster, head of development for IMG Los Angeles and a scout for IMG Models Worldwide.
Caster sent a direct message to the Washingtons expressing an interest in Kerion as a potential model on her team, Karis said.
“Due to the distance, she connected us with Jones Model Management in Austin instead,” Karis said.
Kerion signed with Jones in May, with the mother-son duo making the trip from Fort Worth to Austin for training and a portfolio session shortly thereafter.
“We’re making the long-distance work. It’s only a three-hour drive,” Karis said.
As for Kerion, he couldn’t be more grateful or excited for the opportunity, he said. “It’s great. I’d like to make modeling my career.”
Kerion said he’s learned a valuable lesson from this experience.
“Bad things are always going to happen. You should keep your head up because something positive might come your way.”
Six Flags Over Texas did not respond for comment Tuesday.
Click here for more on Kerion Washington’s budding career as a model.
SOURCE: San Antonio Express-News – Marcy de Luna