As part of a joint initiative, Wahl Clipper Corporation, Chicago social service organization UCAN and local business His & Hers Barber School joined forces to help at-risk West Side youth break the cycle of poverty. Four students were awarded full scholarships valued at $6,100 each to attend classes toward becoming a professional barber.
The students completed their first week of their 13-month training program at His & Hers Barber School, 5355 West Madison in Chicago. They were awarded the scholarships after successfully completing the four-week Wahl Fade It Forward® mentorship program with professional barbers in the community. This is the first year of the mentorship program and the scholarship awards. The company hopes to expand the program in the future.
As the world’s leading manufacturer of clippers for stylists and barbers, Sterling, IL-based Wahl Clipper Corporation was inspired in part by celebrity barber Garland “G-Whiz” Fox to create a grassroots program to aid youth in need and to celebrate the company’s 100-year anniversary in 2019. Joliet, IL native, Garland “G-Whiz” Fox is a Wahl Education & Artistic Team Member. Once homeless, Fox credits becoming a barber as the turning point in improving his life.
“The Wahl Fade It Forward program was created when I and a few other people began thinking about what we could do to give back to the community as a clipper company for all the years that we've been in business,” says Fox. “With me being a product of the community, we thought, why not go to the ‘hood, where everything is happening, and find some at-risk youth that no one is willing to give a chance and just take them and give them an opportunity to do things that they never thought they could do.”
For 23 year old West Side, Chicago student Sebastian Moore graduating school and becoming a licensed, professional barber is the first step toward becoming a business owner in the community in which he grew up.
“A year from now I see myself traveling, building my clientele before I open up an actual physical flagship location. Probably on the south side of the city or the east side of the city, says Moore. “To see other barbers turn into owners/operators after graduating through the same system that I'm about to go through is extremely motivating. It's like, ‘I can do this.’”
The students hope to graduate August 2019.
About Wahl Clipper Corporation
Since 1919, with the invention of the first practical electric hair clipper, Wahl Clipper Corporation has been a leader in the professional and home grooming category. Today, with over 2,500 employees worldwide, Wahl is proud to carry forward the tradition of innovation and superior customer service that was created by Leo J. Wahl. Headquartered in Sterling, Illinois, Wahl distributes to 176 countries and has eight global manufacturing facilities as well as 25 sales offices. www.wahlpro.com
UCAN is one of Chicago’s oldest, yet most innovative, social services organization that helps builds strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment. For more than 149 years, UCAN has been a sanctuary for youth who have suffered trauma and neglect through a clinical approach to healing that is united, culturally relevant and consistent.