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Transforming Lives through Community Connections

Transforming Lives through Community Connections

When you look good, you feel good, and our students are feeling amazing! This month, local entrepreneur and barber, Anthony Lekkas, collaborated with the HH School to provide a transformative experience. Anthony is part of our local community and owns Superior Barbershop in Brookfield. Anthony was inspired by April’s theme of Autism Awareness Month and wanted to use his talents to give back to the community by offering complimentary haircuts to our students.

He also has a close connection to our mission as his son has autism. Anthony recognizes that styling hair for children with an intellectual or developmental disability may be a challenging experience due to sensory sensitivities and behaviors. With the help and expertise of Anthony and his team members at Superior Barbershop, our students had the ability to get their hair cut by a professional with patience, understanding, and genuine care.

Anthony and a few of his team members set-up shop in one of our open classrooms and dedicated their day to serving our students. During this opportunity, over 10 students were able to get their haircut. The students were able to see their peers getting groomed, gain a better understanding of haircuts, and experience a barbershop environment from the comfort of their classroom. Some students were timid on receiving haircuts, but the team from Superior Barbershop managed to ease students’ worries. Students who were anxious could sit in the barber chair while one of the barbers presented their clippers and scissors, which ultimately gave the students a better understanding of the experience and the purpose of the tools. The barbers also made sure to give students breaks during haircuts if they felt overwhelmed.

Despite the efforts and understanding of Superior Barbershop, some students could not receive haircuts because of sensory sensitivities and anxiety. However, Anthony and his team recognize that this experience is a journey. One student in particular was very kind and respectful but could not get his haircut due to being overwhelmed.

“[He] touched my heart,” said Anthony. “I want to return to Helping Hand so students can overcome their hesitation and get to know me better.”

The collaboration between Superior Barbershop and our school stands as an example of compassion, empathy, and genuine care within our community. Through their patience and tailored approach to hair care, the barbershop team has not only provided essential grooming services, but also fostered an environment where students feel equally valued and respected. This partnership emphasizes the transformative power of small gestures and demonstrates how simple acts of kindness can have a powerful impact that enriches the lives of our students, their families, and the barbers alike. As we celebrate this partnership, we are reminded of the boundless potential for positive change when organizations embrace genuine care and champion connections in their local community.

Author: Kevin Kumar

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