Pittsburgh Woman Removing Scars of the Past
Woman volunteers her skills to erase reminders of traumatic pasts that are on display every time her clients look in the mirror.
This story is part of a bi-weekly series that celebrates people who are reaching across a divide to "build bridges" with those different from themselves. The Sparkt Bridges series is made possible with the support of UPMC.
For more than a decade, Bridget Miller has used lasers to make people more attractive, fixing skin imperfections and removing unwanted hair.
She enjoys her work, but these days her true passion is using lasers to remove something that's more than skin deep: tattoos that brand a person as a former criminal, gang member, or a victim of sex trafficking.
Miller owns the East Side Laser Center in Braddock, PA. She now dedicates a lot of her time and resources to removing unwanted tattoos, giving her clients a fresh start that can change their lives.
Miller says she came up with the idea for The Erase Project after being contacted to remove the word "evil" from a young girl who was once a member of a violent gang. She quickly realized the importance of the work and wanted to do more. Although many of her clients don't keep in touch after their treatments, she knows they are thankful.
"Mainly people are just grateful that the mistakes they made can be removed," said Miller.
Miller also takes the time to visit prisons across the state to talk to inmates about tattoo removal.
Maintaining the lasers and other equipment is very costly. If you would like to make a donation to The Erase Project, you can do so through For Good PGH .
Miller is still working to remove the facial tattoos on convicted felon, Dylan Corrao. Already though, he has gone from living in a tent in a homeless camp on the North Side to now working a job pouring concrete. He hopes to continue turning his life around.
If you know someone like Bridget Miller who is working to build bridges to and for people who are different than they are, we'd love to tell their story. You can nominate someone to be featured in our Sparkt Bridges series by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sparkt Bridges Project is produced with the generous support of UPMC. Life Changing Medicine.