GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's back to school time across the Coast. For many, that means new clothes, new supplies and new haircuts. A fraternity in Gulfport wanted to take some of the stress away from parents by offering free haircuts to local children.
It wasn't just a trim that was offered at the barber shop. The kids also got a little life advice to get them ready for the school year.
For Dennis Stevenson, there's no better time than now to have a positive influence on his community's young people. As President of the Gulfport Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, he wanted to make a difference.
To do that, he called up the barber shop. The way he sees it, the way you feel affects the way you perform.
"We wanted to give our young boys in our community a fresh look. Hopefully, they will have a fresh attitude," said Stevenson.
That look was provided by the Cut Doctors Barber Shop. Stevenson said it gave him and his fraternity brother, Emanuel, a chance to get the young men in the door.
"Just to have a barbershop chat, you know. To come in and talk to them about the importance of staying in school, the importance of having respect, not only for themselves, but for everyone they come in contact with," said Stevenson.
He said he's seen too many young men and women around our area feel like their lives are meaningless. That's something he feels compelled to change.
"We just want to encourage them and let them know that someone is cheering them on," he said.
Those bringing their children through the door feel the same way. They say it's the fraternity's effort to provide that makes a world of difference to the community.
"Some of these kids need that. They need that push to keep them going," said Lionel Antoine, Jr., father of two.
In that spirit, these kids are getting way more than just a fresh look for the school year.
"A simple haircut goes a long way," said Stevenson.
The Gulfport Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi hopes to make this an annual tradition to kick off the school year.