This year Wahl Professional expanded its one-of-a-kind scholarship program to Houston to support barber school students in five under-resourced communities.
Wahl Professional has long been a leader in professional and home grooming electric hair clippers, trimmers and shavers. Recently the company held events in St. Louis and Houston to celebrate the awarding of Wahl Professional’s Fade It Forward® Scholarships to new barber students.
Many know the Wahl Fade It Forward® program as the most extensive philanthropic initiative in the barber industry. Its primary goal is to alleviate the financial burdens that hinder barber students from achieving their dreams of becoming professional barbers. Since its launch in 2018, The Wahl Fade It Forward® program has granted nearly $500,000 in scholarships and support to more than 30 barber students in Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, San Diego, and Houston.
Fade It Forward® further
This year there was even more to celebrate. Indeed, the Wahl Fade It Forward® program expanded to Houston for the very first time. For starters, Wahl Professional collaborated with Franklin Institute to award a scholarship to Jeremy Adams. Wahl then joined forces with Texas Barber College to provide scholarships to Warren Duckworth and Ronald Shepherd. In St. Louis, Wahl Professional partnered with St. Charles Barber College to award Michael Johnson a Wahl Fade It Forward® scholarship. These new students are expected to complete their mentorship and graduate from barber college later this year.
Garland “G Whiz” Fox, a Wahl Professional educator, presented the scholarships in Houston. While there he shared his personal connection to the journey of the Wahl Fade It Forward® winners. He expressed, “We read your stories. We know that some applicants are homeless, and they aren’t sure how they are gonna feed their kids. That was me. Barbering changed my life. If it can work for me, it can work for anybody.” Fox emphasized that each recipient should take pride in successfully navigating the rigorous selection process. He observed, “The application process is not easy. We dissect every word you say to us, and we research you on social media. We take that into consideration because you all represent Wahl now. You’re one of us. It’s our commitment to you – we are going to be here for you.“
In addition to scholarships, the Wahl Fade It Forward® program offers personalized tutoring to help students pass their state licensing exams. It also connects them with social services if needed. Moreover, the program offers one-on-one mentorships with local professional barbers who are community role models. These mentors play a major role in helping students understand how to navigate the business world as a professional. During the mentorship, students learn essential skills. These include building a client base, assisting in daily shop operations, and fostering professional relationships with colleagues.
Julie Gustafson, Senior Manager of Marketing at Wahl Professional, commented on the unique aspects of the Wahl Fade It Forward® program. “Giving these students layers of support and mentorship beyond just paying for their barber school education is what makes the Wahl Fade It Forward® program special,” she explained. “Students are paired with barber mentors who teach them how to conduct themselves professionally. They learn how to build their business, and how to ‘Fade It Forward’ to the next person who may need a helping hand like they did. Eventually they become a leader in their own barbering community.“
The significance of Wahl Fade It Forward®
The success of the Wahl Fade It Forward® program serves as a testament to the transformative power of barbering and the dedication of Wahl Professional to invest in the future of aspiring barbers. By providing comprehensive support, mentorship, and scholarships, Wahl Professional is empowering these students to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. It offers them the opportunity to become leaders not only in the barbering community, but in the community as a whole. As the program continues to expand its reach, Wahl Professional remains committed to making a lasting impact and fostering a brighter future for the next generation of barbers.
You, too, can participate! More information can be found here.