By Chavaria Williams
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
The Northeast Central Durham Holton Career and Resource Center houses various vocational programs for Durham youth. The specialized courses prepare many local high school students to go straight from school to a job.
The Holton Barber Shop is relatively quiet until the twenty students studying under Timothy McIntosh enter at about 11:30 a.m. The young high school students liven up the room with their laughter and conversation. Some of them sit in the classroom completing class work for a portion of the course called “Theory”, while others are engaging in hands-on activities such as cutting hair. The daily session ends at 2:30 p.m.
“The course ranks as one of the most popular amongst the others,” says McIntosh. The program currently has 46 students on their waiting list and will not be able to officially enroll those students until present students graduate. However, expansion of the program is underway.
Durham Public Schools funds and governs the barbering program, as well as the other programs the Holton Center houses.
Although the barbering program is only in the middle of its first year of existence, it has been in the works for almost three years. The planning began when Terry Mozingo, DPS Chief Academic Officer, approached McIntosh who already had a barbering school of his own, Park West Barber School.
The program takes two years to complete and 1528 recorded hours to account for work experience. Then the students become eligible to take the state barbering exam. Career placement is offered to graduates upon completion.
“The barbering program made me more knowledgeable of the business aspect because we learn about it in class,” says Cache Jerry-Grey. Barbering is a great trade to have and I plan to use it to make money on the side when I go to college.”
Grey, one of five female students in the program, is a junior at Northern High School who plans to study business management and soon after open her own shop. She chose barbering over cosmetology because it is different and she prefers male hairstyling.
Clients are local residents who take advantage of the discounted prices that the barbershop offers. Prices range from $1 to $10 and are performed by supervised students.
Service hours are 12:30 to 2:30 weekdays and no appointments are required.
The services include cleansing shampoo and conditioner, temporary and permanent coloring, facials, eyebrow arching, adult and child hair cuts, hot oil treatments, outlines, specialty cuts, scalp treatments, beard and mustache trims and texturizers.
“Traffic is light, but we put together promotions about the program,” says McIntosh. “We teach the theory and business side of the profession.”
McIntosh, a native of Maryland, has been barbering for about twenty years. He began young when a guy in the neighborhood taught him and he furthered his barbering skills through a work study program, similar to the class he teaches.
“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for students to have a license after high school to go to college or wherever they plan,” says McIntosh. “The mission and goal of the program is for the students to pass the state board exam and become licensed barbers in the state of North Carolina.”
Julius Gibbs, a tenth grade Northern student says McIntosh taught him that “it’s not just barbering, but having a business perspective behind it.”
Gibbs lives in East Durham and is one of the many students who also attend Northern High School. Other feeder schools include Southern, Jordan, Hillside and J.D. Clement College High School.
“Freshman year started off bad, but when I got here I had to be about my work, now I make As and Bs,” says Gibbs. The program brings him closer to his dream of one day owning his very own barbershop.
Prior to enrolling in the program, he had his sights set on becoming a chef or a barber and said he would take advantage of whichever opportunity presented itself first.
So far, Gibbs has learned how to give facials, shampoos, 90 degree cuts with straight hair and the basics of a fade. He has future plans of applying for a paid barbering internship and getting a permit to work under a licensed barber for a year and then obtaining one of his own.
“It is a very, very exciting time for the barbering school,“ says Principal Gloria Woods-Weeks. “Our goal is to see the students through the certification process by doing our part in the community and it’s free!”
Holton’s student-barbers are stepping into the right direction with a career-oriented mindset, thanks to DPS’ initiative and the Holton Center‘s care and services.
http://holtoncareer.dpsnc.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14:holton-is-on-facebook (link to the barbering program on facebook)