A former prisoner has taken the time he served and is using it to give back to the community. Anthony Barton of Greenburgh, New York is giving free haircuts and training on how to cut hair. Barton’s barbering skills were a result of time served in prison. Though many people find prison to be a bad thing, Barton says his time there actually saved his life.
In October he created a training program free of charge to teach unemployed and unemployable men how to barber. Most of his students are ex-convicts like his self and have had a hard time finding a job in the workforce because of their criminal records. Barton understands how hard it is to come out of prison and find a way to be a productive member of society when you have a black mark against you.
Upon being released from prison, Barton found employment working with troubled kids in a hospital, which he worked at for several years. But the recession caused him to have to find another way to earn a salary so he leaned on the barber skills he had learned while serving time.
Eventually he was able to open his own barber shop but he wanted to do more than just make money. He created his barbering program which operates on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Greenburgh Town Hall.
Barton teaches fades, flat tops and other styling and cutting techniques to his students free of charge. He’s had such success with the program that he is looking at starting his own barber school. He has even employed some of the students who had gone through his free training program.
Greenburgh’s Town supervisor, Paul Feiner believes Barton is doing more than just teaching a skill. “He’s been successful in giving people confidence and motivating people who others had given up on,” he said.