Highlighting Positive Community News and Stories from the Greater Coatesville Area

CASD and VA Hospital of Coatesville Partner to give Students Opportunities

Mar 4, 2024 | Coatesville

Barbers and hairdressers frequently find themselves assuming roles akin to therapists, confidants, and even friends, as they stand behind their clients with scissors or razors, fostering a unique sense of vulnerability. At the Veterans Hospital in Coatesville, this social dimension of haircuts holds equal significance alongside the technical skill of trimming. High school students from Coatesville Area Intermediate and Senior High School, enrolled in barbering classes at the Chester County Technical College High School (TCHS), visit the VA Hospital several times a year to offer haircuts to veterans. Whether it’s for job interviews or simply maintenance, these sessions benefit both students and veterans alike.

Drew Givler, a Barbering Instructor at the Brandywine Campus of TCHS, emphasizes that beyond honing technical skills, students develop empathy, communication, and professionalism through their interactions with veterans. The experience provides invaluable insights into the diverse needs and stories of their clients, fostering a sense of community service and compassion.

For Kaelyn Vega, a junior at Coatesville Area High School, volunteering at the VA Hospital has been a transformative aspect of the barbering program. She notes how it has enriched not only her technical abilities but also her social skills, offering a sense of fulfillment from aiding others.

The partnership between TCHS and the VA Hospital, initially established to assist veterans in preparing for the annual veterans’ ball, has evolved into a lasting and impactful collaboration. Even amid the challenges posed by the pandemic, regular haircuts remain a cherished routine for veterans, providing an avenue for intergenerational dialogue and mutual learning.

Reflecting on her initial nerves, Coatesville junior Zaria Harris recounts how conversations with veterans during haircuts quickly became rewarding exchanges, bridging generational gaps and fostering understanding. Givler expresses pride in witnessing how students facilitate these connections, recognizing the profound significance of such interactions across diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Read the full article by MediaNews Group at The Daily Local. Featured photo from CASD. For all Coatesville news and events, keep up with 19320GO.com.

Posted by Monica Ferguson

Monica is a senior at West Chester University studying Digital Marketing. She is excited about moving to Chester County and eventually starting her career there after graduation.

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