Fred Yeakey learned early in his teaching career that one way to have in-depth conversations with his students was to cut their hair. Something about the give-and-take that occurs during that interaction allowed kids to open up in ways he hadn’t seen before.
And so was born Mr. Yeakey’s barbershop—a program the educator has taken with him as he’s changed schools.
Today, at Providence Cristo Rey High School, where Yeakey is vice principal of culture and mission, a handful of students gather weekly after school. Some get their hair cut. Others are just there for the conversation about sports, school, trauma, jobs and life.
Mr. Yeakey talks with host Mason King about why the barbershop works, what he’s learned from his students and how the program could be used at other schools.
Read more about Mr. Yeakey in this story from reporter Samm Quinn.