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Orangeburg barber students provide free haircuts for frontline workers

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 5:57 PM EST
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - When you walk into Barber Tech Academy in Orangeburg, there’s a certain buzz you’ll notice when you walk in.

Sure, the sound of the barbers’ clippers will fill the air, but the students at the academy provide a fresh haircut and a positive outlook for their clients once they arrive.

“Putting a cut on somebody and somebody smiling about it, it gives you hope,” said Barber Tech Academy student Sterling Fowler.

For months, clients weren’t able to enter barbershops to get their typical tape-up or shave due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by Gov. Henry McMaster. Now that students are able to provide that service, it lifts the morale of the students and clients alike.

“It makes me feel good. It’s better than the regular everyday thing that everyone is doing,” Fowler added. “So, being able to give back to the community is just a plus.”

While the students are happy to help their clients, there’s something a little more special for them when it comes to helping essential workers.

“The frontline workers or the essential workers had to stay on task,” said Barber Tech Academy co-owner Dashaun West. “We’re talking about our nurses, our doctors, but not only them, our UPS drivers, our grocery store workers. So, what we wanted to do as an institution was to show them, ‘Hey, we appreciate you.’”

To show these workers their appreciation, students at Barber Tech Academy are providing them with free haircuts while learning the trade they love.

“Not only are they learning professionalism, but they are learning something far more important and what we’re doing today is how we started our business. We started on the premise of giving back.”

With that in mind, the students at Barber Tech understand the role they play when it comes to helping members of the community remain positive during a tough time.

“Just being able to give back, I think, just puts people in a better state of mind,” Fowler said. “Next thing you know, they could be giving back.”

Barber Tech Academy offers free haircuts to frontline workers on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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