Trenton kids get a fresh cut and some confidence for the new school year

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Two events in Trenton, New Jersey offered kids a free hair cut and some confidence for the new school year on Monday.

At Classic Razor Sharp Barber Shop on Centre Street, the chairs were full and skilled hands were busy.

Owner Vincent Hall said, "We bring what we have, which is our hands and our skillset. And then other people bring what they have and it makes the event better."

For 25 years and counting, kids hop up in the chair for a free back to school haircut and a free backpack too, thanks to several local organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mercer County and First Baptist Church of Trenton.

A positive message was attached to each backpack in memory of Mercer County sheriff's officer Pablo Santiago, who died suddenly late last year.

"It's a great thing, my dad loved doing this. I'm glad I could be here in honor of him," said his daughter, Gianna Santiago.

Master Barber-in-Training Tyreek Finney has been getting his haircut at this shop since he was 12.

"It was something that made me want to be a barber. Made me want to be a part of it," he said.

Now he's the one giving the free haircuts.

"It made me better. It kept me out of trouble. And they're my mentors," said Finney.

Outside Trenton City Hall on East State Street, a new event called the "Mercer County Back 2 School Jam" drew dozens of children in need of a back-to-school haircut.

Malika Ingram brought her twin boys.

"You get to socialize before school starts, the kids can see their friends, and it's lighter on our pockets," she laughed. "There's so many kids that don't fit into the norm. So this helps everyone feel the same, look the same and be in a comfort zone."

Satisfied clients like 10-year-old Izayeha Brown say they're ready to hit the books with a new look.

"I was the only one who didn't have a haircut in my class so I had to get a haircut ASAP. Now I feel much better," said Brown.
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