Hair Vision Barber Juan gives 9X Impact Student Joseph a haircut for the holidays.
Mr. Ragland, principal at RHS' The 9X Impact, noticed one of his students walking around with his hood up, or a hat on, trying to hide. It turns out that the student hadn't been able to afford a haircut over Thanksgiving and tried to take the situation into his own hands.
"At one point, his friends were in the bathroom trying to cut his hair," said Mr. Ragland. "They meant well, but they just made it worse. Even when a staff member fixed it the best he could, we could tell he was still embarrassed."
The next time he was at his barber, Hair Vision, on Brice Road, he was talking to the barbers. "That's what you do when you get your hair cut," said Mr. Ragland. "You talk about life and what is going on in your world."
When he mentioned his student, one of the barbers, Juan, quickly volunteered to help. Juan said he would cut the student's hair at no charge, and Mr. Ragland thought, "Let's turn this into something bigger."
Juan and his fellow barber, Torey, came to the gymnasium at RHS' Livingston Campus to provide haircuts to 51 male students. With appointments all day, Joseph and Henok were the first students in Juan and Torey's chairs. Mr. Ragland then invited his fraternity brothers from Phi Beta Sigma to come in and talk to the boys as they waited to get their turn in the barber's seat. Mr. Ragland also said 9X Impact Science Teacher Auna Rickman and 9X Impact ELA Teacher Emily Davies were also instrumental in helping plan the event. "We couldn't have done this without their support," he said.
Phi Beta Sigma Brothers John and Craig asked 9X Impact students about their lives, what their favorite subjects in school were, etc. The gym was transformed into a barber shop with a community feel.
Torey applies product to Henok's hair during his haircut.
Mr. Ragland hopes to start a youth auxiliary group with Phi Beta Sigma to help young men on their path to college and careers after high school graduation.
Mr. Ragland, center, and his Phi Beta Sigma brothers talk with Marvin before his haircut.