Brooklyn High School Alumnus, and recent Academy Award Winner®, Patricia DeHaney, returned to her alma mater on Friday, May 10, 2019, to speak with student members of the Drama Club, as well as those enrolled in the Cosmetology program at Polaris Career Center. Ms. DeHaney won an Oscar® for Makeup and Hairstyle, as part of the style team who worked on the 2019 film, Vice. During her remarks, Patricia shared about being a member of the inaugural Cosmetology Class created in the Brooklyn City Schools, and credited her courses, led by former Hurricane instructor, Mrs. Aynik, as a major contributor to a career as a professional hairstylist. After graduating as a member of the Class of 1972, Ms. DeHaney opened her own salon business which she owned in for seventeen years. Her big break came after helping perform the makeup and hairstyle duties on a movie that was filmed in Cleveland. Ms. DeHaney capitalized on those connections, prompting future work in Los Angeles, that would eventually see her working alongside such A-list celebrities as Clint Eastwood, Christian Bale, Tom Hanks and Amy Poehler, and working on movie and TV productions such as Dunkirk, Parks and Recreation, American Sniper and Sully. Though a full-time resident of San Francisco, California, Patricia still maintains close ties with friends in the Brooklyn community.
While speaking with BHS students, Patricia emphasized the importance of taking responsibility to motivate themselves and to be resilient in pursuing what they are most passionate about. Students were given the opportunity to engage in an in-depth Question and Answer session, as well as hold the actual Oscar® award given to Ms. DeHaney. The visit was nothing short of inspiring for both the students and Ms. DeHaney, who expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the Brooklyn City Schools, as well as for the opportunity to provide encouragement to students regarding their future endeavors. The Brooklyn City Schools once again congratulate Patricia DeHaney on the distinguished accomplishment of winning an Academy Award® and thank her for taking the opportunity to inspire our students!