Dutchess County students have a great opportunity to learn barbering and cosmetology from some of the finest in the field. Awesome Poughkeepsie awarded local barber, Rich Styles aka Stylez da Barber, a grant to offer youth classes.

Stylez da Barber Offers Youth Classes After Receiving Grant

Rich Styles has been cutting hair for 30 years (18 in Poughkeepsie), and sees the profession as a culture. He appreciates staying "in tune with the streets" by talking with customers and listening to music. It had been a dream of his for several years to create a program to train people in the art of cutting hair.

In February, Styles was awarded a $1,000 grant through Awesome Poughkeepsie. He and cosmetologist Shaliah Johnson held their first class on barbering two months after receiving the grant. Their classes are catered to teens who want to learn skills such as haircuts, lineups and basic cosmetology.

Styles said to the kids and parents in regards to the upcoming classes,

When I say you're going to be hands on in here, you're going to be hands on. You're going to be cutting live heads. There's going to be a real person sitting down, you guys are going to be shaping up, cutting and all that.

This class comes as a reminder to Styles as for how far he has come. Yesterday, Styles took to Instagram to celebrate the occasion. Styles said that yesterday, April 20th, was the 12 year anniversary since he had been released from prison, and that he hasn't looked back since. Twelve years later, he is making headlines for his program aimed to keep kids and teens out of jail. Styles wants to offer a program where teens can express themselves and have a profession they look forward to.

Styles has also organized a GoFundMe raising money for this program. The GoFundMe is titled "Skills to Learn for the Youth." His goal is to raise $5,000, and he has raised nearly $2,000 by the time of writing this article. You can contribute to the fundraiser by visiting the link here.

What is Awesome Poughkeepsie?

Awesome Poughkeepsie is a community-driven, micro-grant program that gives out $1,000 grants each month to selected applicants (community groups and neighbors with great ideas that will positively impact our community). The funds come from a pool created by neighbors and local businesses/institutions and our board meets monthly to vote on who gets the grant.

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