Emily is a valued volunteer Instructor, both in Cosmetology and Barbering with years of experience.  She drives two (2) hours each way to come and teach. **Now that's dedication.  She is loved by the students and brings amazing creativity to the classroom. She is currently self employed at a salon in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  Emily cultivates new trends and brings current topics to the students in her imaginative lessons. Her skills are exemplary and we love that she brings brilliance and Barbering Education to our program.

CHRISTIE LUTHER
Founder | Executive Director
Master Cosmetology Instructor


Amanda (Aj) Watkins is A licensed Cosmetologist, Barber, and Educator.  While serving out a prison sentence in an Oklahoma woman’s prison she received an education in Cosmetology completely free of charge through the R.I.S.E. PROGRAM. This changed her life and inspired her to pursue an instructor’s license as she had a strong desire to stay connected to and partner with R.I.S.E. Recently she was granted the opportunity to serve as Educational Program Coordinator of the program. AJ has a strong passion for education and a heart for ministry. Her goal is to find fun innovative ways to present the curriculum. The program serves justice-involved individuals and AJ strongly believes that both the time that she served in prison and the experiences she’s gained in the beauty/barbering industry will help her to connect with and relate to others.

Sierra B. is the Executive Administrative Assistant/Marketing at R.I.S.E. Program Inc. She has been working for  the program since 2018 and has lived experience being a child of a parent who’s been in prison. Sierra is currently going to college for a Bachelor’s in Marketing and is excited for what that education can bring to the program. She is a mother and loves spending time with her child. Sierra feels like her personal experience and being a mother can help relate to individuals involved in the R.I.S.E. Program. You’ll most likely see her accompanied by her mini assistant, her child.

EMILY GARGONE
Master Cosmetology And Barber Instructor

Sierra B.

Executive Administrative Assistant | Marketing 

Amanda (AJ) Watkins

Educational Program Coordinator 

(405) 493-9846

Christie saw a need in Oklahoma and collaborated with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering Boards.  Christie is a Master Cosmetology Instructor and a 32 year professional in the beauty industry. She is an Instructor at Oklahoma's first beauty college in a women's prison,   serves in the Stand In the Gap Ministry and as a Celebrate Recovery Leader. Christie also serves as a Board Member of the Oklahoma Board of Cosmetology and as the Chair for the Board's Rules Committee. 

"There is a serious problem in Oklahoma; there are so many incarcerated women and when they are released, most have very little to return to.Some women do not have skills, HS diplomas, families, homes, support, employment, transportation, or money.  They are often met with exorbitant court fees, fines, restitution obligations, back child support, societal negativity and fewer employment choices due to the "'FELON" label: all which are overwhelming and steals their hope for a better future.  According to a News 9 interview with D.O.C. in May 2015, the average recidivism rate is 22%; which means they re-offend and return to prison.  How can they succeed?  We are willing to bridge the gap, teach them the skills, while meeting them at the prison gate to help them return to society as successful re-emergent tax paying citizens."


3516 Nw 50th St, OKC, OK , 73112