During the dog days of summer, one local barber is motivating kids to do better when they go back to school.
In Meriden, Anthony Woods has been getting his cut at the Feel Fresh Hair Studio on West Main Street for the past two years. It is where Woods has forged a friendship with his stylist, Joey Armatino.
“Conversations here and there, bringing up what you got going for the day,” Woods said.
When Woods first saw Armatino, he was a junior at Wilcox Technical High. While being a customer at any barber shop, clients talk to each other.
“I took the automotive trade so we were talking about cars and stuff like that,” Woods said.
Woods said his grades weren't exactly where he wanted them to be.
“I've always tried to push myself as hard as I can, it's what I do and I wasn't doing the best at that time,” Woods said.
That’s when Armatino swooped in making the pledge he does for any student that sits in his chair.
“Let's say he was a C average student,” Armatino said. “I told him if he comes in with nothing under a C, I'll give him a free haircut.”
“It rewires your brain to go ahead and do the best you can,” Woods said.
Because clients need to stay fresh, they always have to return and that gives Armatino the opportunity to check on the progress.
“I saw him grow as a person and I saw him want to come in and tell me how good he was doing,” Armatino said.
By the time Woods graduated, he was at the top of his class.
“My GPA was 3.83, graduated and I was at the top of my class for two of the four years,” Woods said.
The reward was felt by both Woods and Armatino.
“I saw him want to come in and tell me how good he was doing,” Armatino said. “That's where I had a sense of pride.”
“It helped me, I'm sure it could help other people, sometimes the actual kick is what you need,” Woods said.
Now with just weeks before the school year, Armatino said he wants kids to know this offer applies to anyone. Armatino added its part of his responsibility being a part of this community.
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