A new barber shop course offered at Cathedral High School has created a lot of buzz, especially for the male population.
The concept was sparked when Teacher Serafina Mundo was approached by a couple students interested in a class similar to the cosmetology program she runs but with a focus on barbering.
With Principal Mark Daly on board, Mundo canvassed students at lunch to see if the idea generated any traction.
After two days of surveying, she had a full class of male students interested.
As a brand-new course, Mundo focused lessons on professional image, client consultation, tools of the trade, hair cutting, clipper cutting, and beard trims.
“My intention was to bring in barbers and former students now in the industry to demonstrate straight razor shaves and fades, along with taking the class to different barber shops, however COVID-19 prevented this for happening,” said Mundo.
Still, the class has helped fill a specific gap that had yet to be explored at the secondary level.
"It feels amazing to be the first to do something that should have already been in school," said grade 11 student Qwade Peters.
“Not only did we learn about barbering, but Mrs. Mundo built a community between us students and made us all feel as if we were family,” added peer Kwabena Nana Gyimeh.
In addition to receiving trade-specific knowledge and experience, students also gained transferable life skills.
“Communication, professionalism, proper hygiene, professional attire, responsibilities, accountability, punctuality, and even simple things like sweeping the floors and doing laundry are just some of the topics we covered,” said Mundo.
Currently, the class is offered for grade 11 students, but due to the high interest, she hopes to expand next year with a grade 12 option.
“Not all students are university bound,” said Mundo. “As a tech teacher I am a firm believer in the trades. Students have many opportunities to learn and develop skills from high school, allowing them a chance to see if a trade is what they really want for their future.”
“COVID-19 showed us just how much we need and missed our visits to the salon. Working in an inner-city school I believe teaching the males this trade will help them make extra money on the side, by cutting hair for friends and family.”