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A Texas teenager 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 Fort Worth resident Kerion Washington, 17, showed up for a job 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 the policy.”

Disappointed, Kerion walked to the parking lot where his mother, Karis Washington, was waiting for him.


“I called and they said it was an extreme hairstyle,” Karis told Chron.com. “His hair has nothing to do with his work ethic.”

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It was Kerion’s first time applying for a job and the experience was daunting, Karis said.

“Every teenager 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 express her frustration. “I was sharing his experience, I wasn’t trying to be negative,” she said.

Although her Facebook post, which has more than 17,000 shares on Tuesday, quickly went viral, it was her Instagram post that caught the attention of Corrie Caster, head of development for IMG Los Angeles and scout for IMG Models. Worldwide.

Caster sent a direct message to the Washingtons expressing interest in Kerion as a potential role model for his team, Karis said.

“Because of the distance, she put us in touch with Jones Model Management in Austin instead,” Karis said.

Kerion signed with Jones in May, with the mother-son duo traveling from Fort Worth to Austin for training and a portfolio session soon after.

“We do the work over long distances. 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 awesome. I would love to make modeling my career.”

Kerion said he learned a valuable lesson from the experience.

“Bad things are always going to happen. You should keep your head up because something good might happen to you.”

Six Flags Over Texas did not respond to comment on Tuesday.

See above for more on Kerion Washington’s budding career as a model.

Marcy de Luna is a digital journalist. You can follow her on Twitter @MarcydeLuna and Facebook @MarcydeLuna. Read his stories on our news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com. | [email protected] | Text CHRON to 77453 to receive the latest news by SMS