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At-Risk Chicago Youth First to Graduate from Wahl's Fade It Forward

Monday, 02 December 2019 14:47
Wahl Fade It Forward recent graduates Sebastian Moore (third from left) and Andre Whittington (second from right) visit with Wahl Professional barbers at America's Beauty Show at McCormick Place in March 2019. Also pictured: L-R: Barber and Wahl Professional Artistic and Education Team (W.E.A.T.) member Kevin Nguyen, Wahl Professional Director of Education, Lisa Finucane, Sebastian Moore, Barber and Wahl Professional Artistic and Education Team (W.E.A.T.) member Garland “G-Whiz” Fox, Simon Shaw, U.K. Director of Education for Wahl Professional, Andre Whittington and James Hollins, Career Specialist with UCAN.

Inspired by celebrity barber and Joliet native Garland “G-Whiz” Fox, West-side Chicago students from Wahl Clipper Corporation’s inaugural Fade It Forward® scholarship program to be recognized with graduation ceremony.

Wahl Clipper Corporation, Chicago social service organization UCAN, and local business His & Hers Barber School are pleased to announce the graduation of the first Wahl Fade it Forward® scholarship recipients on Tuesday, December 3, at 10 a.m. at His & Hers Barber School, 5355 West Madison in Chicago. Information on the program can be found HERE!

The three organizations joined forces last year to help at-risk West Side youth break the cycle of poverty. Those students, who were awarded full scholarships to attend classes toward becoming a professional barber, will now graduate after a challenging 13-month program that has prepared them for careers as barbers and future entrepreneurs.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of clippers for stylists and barbers, Sterling, IL-based Wahl Clipper Corporation was inspired to help area youth in part by celebrity barber and Joliet, IL native, Garland “G-Whiz” Fox. The company and Fox set out to create a grassroots program to aid youth in need and to celebrate the company’s 100-year anniversary this year.

Garland “G-Whiz” Fox is a Wahl Education & Artistic Team Member. Formerly 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.

The students recently completed their training at His & Hers Barber School, 5355 West Madison in Chicago. They were awarded the scholarships after first successfully completing the four-week Wahl Fade It Forward® mentorship program with professional barbers in the community. This is the first class of Wahl Fade It Forward® graduates, but not the last. New scholarship recipients, who will also be at the graduation event, have recently begun their classes, and the company plans to expand the Wahl Fade It Forward® program in Chicago as well as bring it to St. Louis and Cleveland in 2020.

My next step is to take my state boards and find a shop to work at where I can build my clientele and build my business,” says graduate Sebastian Moore. Moore has already begun working on a social media presence around his new profession and talking with potential employers. He’s confident he’ll pass his state board exam, too, thanks to the training he’s received. “Ms. Youngblood, one of my teachers, said we had to perform the practical test for her while at school. She made sure we can perform a real haircut to professional standards,” says Moore. “She’s really invested in us.”

The graduation event is a chance to see the students in action cutting hair. They will be giving a demonstration of their ability and techniques following the graduation ceremony.

Wahl Fade It Forward Graduation

EVENT DETAILS

WHO: Wahl Professional, UCAN and His & Hers Barber School
Graduates Andre Whittington and Sebastian Moore
New Scholarship Students
Garland “G-Whiz” Fox

WHAT:  Scholarship Ceremony
New Graduates Cutting Hair
Interviews with graduates, new scholarship recipients

WHERE: His & Hers Barber School, 5355 West Madison in Chicago, IL 60644

WHEN: Ceremony: 10 a.m. Tuesday, December 3, 2019

WHY: Fade It Forward was created when Wahl Education & Artistic Team member Garland “G-Whiz” Fox and others began thinking about how they could give back to the community. Wahl Professional partnered with Chicago-based UCAN, the city’s oldest social service organization, and His and Hers Barber School in Chicago to create the Wahl Fade It Forward program.

To commemorate the students’ hard work, the clipper manufacturer is holding a graduation ceremony and celebration for the students, their mentors, staff and social service organization UCAN at His & Hers Barber School where the students completed their training on their journey to becoming professional barbers. The Fade It Forward program was created in 2018 to help young people from underserved areas go from poverty to a sustainable career and future business ownership. Bringing the program full circle, Wahl Professional and UCAN will welcome two more scholarship recipients who will begin their classes at His & Hers Barber School.

As Wahl Professional welcomes these new students, the 100-year-old clipper company is pleased to announce its 2020 plans to expand the Fade It Forward program to one additional neighborhood in Chicago, as well as two new cities – St. Louis, and Cleveland.

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