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Makenna Labranche

Makenna Labranche

Even when strangers introduce themselves to Makenna Labranche, 21, of Hammond, they feel they have come across an old friend.

Labranche, who describes herself as a people person, said she loves living in Downtown Hammond and all of the familiarity that comes with its atmosphere. She said she can walk to coffee shops and restaurants on most days where she will meet with a friend or two. Even going to places alone allows her to make new friends, she said.

"I'm an esthetician and I studied skin care science at the Aveda Institute in downtown," Labranche said. "I have no desire to go back to school because I'm very content with what I'm doing right now. I work part time here in Hammond at Bellagio and part ttime in Baton Rouge."

Labranche got a jumpstart on her professional life by completing high school through homeschooling at age 16. From there, she studied at Aveda and went to work right away.

She said she truly loves her job and working alongside other people. She also loves doing yoga and painting.

Labranche grew up in Maurepas where she said she participated in the 4-H program showing and studying livestock. She likes living in the bigger city of Hammond as it is still a small town that is just about the right size.

-- By Jessie Brooks