Barber cuts through to juveniles.

Author:Rayborn, Jessica
Position:Best in the Business - Tom Maule's management of barbershop training program for juvenile offenders

Tom Maule, a man always willing to help and provide a little advice along the way, is reaching out to male juveniles at Ethan Allen School through a barbershop training program.

A graduate of Lincoln Barber College, Maule worked and owned his own barbershop for 47 years in Wisconsin. Approximately 20 years ago, Ron Petros, a customer of Maule's and a section manger at Ethan Allen, told Maule the school needed a teacher for the Barber School Program. The school houses between 350 and 500 juvenile males. To no surprise, Maule took the job and became instrumental in developing a barber training program. He began to develop a partnership with the local technical school so his students could receive certification for cosmetology skills while at the institution. This approach was innovative for Ethan Allen and has become a great success.

There are currently six juveniles working as barbers in the program, and they will participate for three months or longer depending on their sentence. They provide services for about 25 to 30 Ethan Allen residents throughout the day, often when they are receiving a visitor or have a court appearance. Maule coordinates with the living quarters administrators to ensure educational schedules are not interrupted; juveniles must attend their classes before they are allowed to come to the barbershop.

The juveniles treat Maule with the highest respect, and he reciprocates. He instills in his students a good work ethic, and the importance of skills building and adhering to safety precautions. In addition to cutting and styling techniques, Maule also encourages youths to build their communication skills with staff and other youths. He helps youths improve their self-esteem and encourages them to take pride in their appearance and behavior. He teaches them to cut hair, run the shop and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Maule believes in the young men, and he conveys this sentiment to them by discussing...

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