AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With so many throughout the Capital Region feeling the impact of the pandemic, one local barber is stepping up to help kids with their future.
Jay Blendz, owner of Blendz Barbershop in Amsterdam, started a not-for-profit organization named Blendz-4-Kidz, which aims to provide high school seniors with a chance at a scholarship to help them on their journey through college.
The scholarships will each be worth $500, and they will be awarded to four seniors from the Amsterdam school district for use toward books, tuition or room and board. Blendz said his goal is to work up enough fundraising to award the entire senior class with a small scholarship.
Coming up on his four-year anniversary operating in Amsterdam, Blendz said the mix of customers he receives has opened his eyes to how many families are currently struggling. He said that even if it’s just a small amount, the idea of being able to help those who have supported him for the past four years is what keeps him going to give back to the community.
“I started the scholarship fund maybe just to get their foot in the door. Whether it’s for books, laptops or even tuition — just to get their foot in the door,” he said. “I get a lot of kids that come in here a lot. Their parents have lost their homes, lost their jobs, so a lot of them are determined to not even go to college because of that. If I could do that for the community that has given back to me, that’s the end goal.”
Blendz said he plans to have multiple fundraisers as New York continues to reopen.