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Back-to-school event gives 'real-world' experience and free haircuts

In addition to giving barber school students "real-world" experience with handling many clients at once, Bullock said “50 Free” emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community. (Daisha Jones, NewsChannel 12)

For the eighth straight year, Pitt Community College barber students provided free haircuts and school supplies to children in grades K-12 as part of their program’s “50 Free” event.

The event happened on Wednesday and ran from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The goal, said instructor Rodney Bullock, was to provide at least 50 free haircuts, 50 free backpacks and a variety of school supplies. School supply donations were accepted until the day of the event.

According to Bullock, “50 Free” began on the heels of a national campaign against bullying. He and his students have carried on the tradition the week prior to each new school year ever since.

“We wanted to do something to boost the kids’ confidence by helping them look their best,” he said. “We didn’t want any of them to feel inferior in any way. We always tell people that we want them to look as good as they feel.”

In addition to giving barber school students "real-world" experience with handling many clients at once, Bullock said “50 Free” emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community.

“I continually stress to my students that they must contribute to their communities in order to become successful entrepreneurs and productive citizens,” he said.

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