TURLOCK (CBS13) — A Turlock business is getting at-risk youth on track to a promising career.
It’s called the Barber Club and it’s asking young men tough questions and giving them a space where they can plan for the future.
“These young men nowadays are misguided, mislead to believe something that is not real, you know, to believe that there is peace in these gangs, in these groups, and that is what we work hard at, working on personal growth, personal development,” said Valentin Horta, co-owner, the Barber Club.
More than a dozen young men from all over the valley are enrolled in the Barber Club. It’s half barbershop and half apprentice academy.
“Not only can you change your image, but you can change their perspective view of how to live their life, how to motivate themselves, how to go about the way they live,” said barber apprentice, Jovan Prado.
The academy takes young people off the streets and far away from gangs. It provides a classroom where they learn the skills and techniques to pursue a successful career. They also learn how to dream big.
“I live in a place like that where most people are in jail, most people are getting shot, most people join gangs, and I come from a culture where being different, and trying to follow my dreams is not normal, and it’s definitely a way out,” said barber apprentice, Jose Figueroa.
Instructors only teach on Sunday to give students a chance to work during the week. Students say it’s more than just about money, it’s about finding a new way of life.
“I got to use my gift of counseling, and counsel people on a lot of different situations that I didn’t’ expect to do,” said Martin Torres-Green, co-owner of the Barber Club.
Most of the recruitment for the Barber Club Apprentice Academy happens on social media, word of mouth or simply walking through the doors.