Teens learn new skills during a free clipper class honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

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BURTON, MI — On a day dedicated to celebrating an iconic civil rights leader, teens and young adults had the opportunity to learn a new skill.

Teach 2 Reach Professional School of Barbering, 3268 Cheyenne Ave., Burton, held a free clipper class on Monday afternoon, January 17.

The 10th annual MLK Day Youth for Change initiative focused on teaching attendees how to become a professional barber and learning hands-on personal clipper cutting techniques.

Participants, aged 14 to 18, were provided with refreshments and tools during the event.

“To me, this program has meant a lot of things,” said Trevor Norman, a student and program assistant to his mother (Kesha Norman). “It’s a way to bring the community together. It’s been proven that you really can make something out of nothing. You can be a pioneer. You don’t need a 9-5 if you follow your dreams.

“This program is something that attracts young kids of all ages to expose them to something new and maybe a different career path. It’s really awesome “

Kesha Norman, CEO and head teacher at Teach 2 Reach Professional School of Barbering, told MLive/The Flint Journal that she started the initiative to help encourage young men to walk away from violence.

“We kind of wanted to give them an alternative to violence, something more positive that they could do in the community and also learn a skill,” she said. “It kind of had a double effect, so just try to introduce them to something that they could use for longevity in life, to make money, and then just to give them something positive about where to focus their time and energy.”

Martin Luther King Jr. was known for his message of unity, positivity and mutual love and for those same ideals aligned with the program’s purpose, Norman said.

“I believe that was his main goal, his dream was for us to come together and not be so divided and then be positive in our community and that’s what it’s all about, not violence, being positive and then learning a skill on top of that,” she said.

The CEO said that once participants turn 17, they can come back and get their barber school license.

Norman, a licensed cosmetologist and hairstylist, said she had the skills and it was important to give back to the community.

“We’re supposed to use the talents we have to help someone else along the way,” she said.

Learn more about MLive:

See Flint events planned to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Brandon Corder has plans for a ‘new day’ as president of Friends of the Alley

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