'Boys to Men' mentors teens - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

'Boys to Men' mentors teens

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Raising boys to become responsible young men takes a lot of work, and often takes more than just parental involvement.  A mentoring program called 'Boys to Men' is in place at Jackson Heights Elementary school in Albany.

Volunteers spent their time giving nearly 100 young boys haircuts. They hope they'll walk a little taller and understand the importance of looking their best at all times.

It's haircut day for Dexter Green and about 100 of his closest friends.  "It makes me feel great, because I don't look the same, you know," he said.

The more hair that falls to the ground, the higher off the ground some of these young men seem to stand. 

"We're just trying to build the boys self esteem and let the boys know that they can do and be whatever they want to be."

Dexter's parents take him to have his hair cut about every two weeks, but not everyone's parents can afford that, or have the transportation to make that happen. And that's why Sidney Curtis who owns Trend Setters barber shop set up shop at Jackson Heights Elementary school.

"In order for me to have my total success, I have to give back to the community as well," Curtis said.

Giving something as simple as a haircut, which can and did have a major impact on these young men.

Boys to Men Mentor Orson Burton said,  "One young man said 'this is my first haircut Mr. B.' and he was so excited about it and that's what we wanted, we wanted to see that excitement and let them know you can be what you want to be."

Standing a little taller as they get out of the barber chair.  "It gives them a sense of pride about themselves, first of all, and it helps out their who self, being able to present themselves in a better way and knowing that somebody is looking out for them. They can't help but feel better about themselves,"  Curtis said.

And later in life, they'll look out for others.  "They helped me, and I should give back the favor."

A favor from friends, mentors, turning boys to men. More than 90 young men were given the free haircuts this week by the barbers from Trend Setters Barber shop.

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