Barber class gives haircuts to the homeless

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 7:51 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - It could just be maintenance, upkeep, or even just a part of a schedule for many but for a group of students at Heyward Career and Technology Center, “it’s just a haircut” doesn’t sit right.

For the students it’s a chance to learn, follow a new path in life, and even give back.

The students are led by Barber/Master Hair Care Instructor at the Heyward Career Center Arthur Stevens.

Arthur Stevens has been in the haircutting business for over 30 years and now he devotes his time to preparing the next generation of barbers and hairdressers for their future careers.

And he gets to do so in quite a unique setting.

”I’m doing different things and I see the potential of a change. And how we’re gonna make sure this program grows,” said Stevens.

Heyward Career and Technology Center in Richland School District One offers a Barber/Master Hair Care class that gives aspiring business owners the entrepreneurial skills they need to make their now dreams a future reality.

Not only is this a class, but it’s also a spot where anyone in the public can come in and receive a variety of hair-related services.

Whether that be a cut, color, or chemical treatment, the students are getting the essential practice to prepare them for their eventual state board exam that will certify them as licensed hair professionals.

And Stevens does all he can to give the students the proper tools to make it happen.

”To put my energy that I know, with the information I know. I want to put it back into this program and help it grow,” he continued.

Stevens told WIS that it isn’t just a class but a chance at a brighter future for those students who may not have been dealt the best cards in their lifetimes.

So he is not just teaching a skill or a technique… but morals to carry throughout the rest of their personal and professional lives.

And one of those morals is the importance of using what you do best to better the lives of others.

This past weekend, Stevens and 5 of his students took the class over to Transitions Homeless Shelter in Columbia.

The students were able to use all of the skills they’ve been learning to help the homeless by giving free haircuts to any resident who may want one.

An effort that Transitions expressed their extreme gratitude for.

Throughout the day, the mini shop setup never saw a lull, as residents were lined out the door waiting for their turn.

”It feels good, to bring the spirit of somebody to life,” Taijean McQueen, a student at Heyward Career and Technology Center.

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