TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Some students at the Troy City School District are getting a new look for the holidays. The district has teamed up with local barbershops to give some students free haircuts through the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. My Brother’s Keeper is sponsoring the Cuts for the Holidays Program.

The New York State My Brother’s Keeper initiative seeks to “Change the Narrative” of boys and young men of color, and all students, by closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps they face and helping them to reach their full potential. Click here to learn more about the initiative.

Ron Peterson is a barber at the Clifton Plaza Barbershop and is also a 1998 Troy High School graduate. Donald Ravenell is the owner of Mahogany Barbershop on South Pearl Street in Albany. Both men were eager for the opportunity to give back to the community and understand the value of investing in children. “I think the children need good role models to come back and show them and that they have opportunities — we harp a lot on college and I think that trades are a very good opportunity for kids to be successful for those who don’t want to go to college,” said Peterson.  

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to partner with our community,” said Amanda Klopott, Troy School 2 Principal. “One of our priorities is to support students’ academic and social-emotional growth. Providing haircuts from strong community members is another opportunity to build connections, learn about each other and get to look nice as well!”

“It’s our way of reaching out to the community and offering a little help in building our students’ confidence and self-esteem,” said Charles Walker, Project Leader of My Brother`s Keeper at School 2. “Something as simple as a free haircut can help ease the financial burden on many of our families and hopefully put a smile on a kid`s face when they look in the mirror.”

Ravenell added “I will do anything that I can to help kids. It doesn’t matter where you are from, we are a community and all of these kids are our own.”