Craven Community College (CCC) Barber School Director Donell Bryant received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the North Carolina Board of Barber Examiners (NC Barber Board). This is the first time the NC Barber Board has given this award.
“Donell has set the bar high for the next leadership award recipient,” said Brenda Aldrich, NC Barber Board lead inspector and barber school auditor. The NC Barber Board gives exams and issues barbering licenses. It also inspects barbering schools and barbershops to ensure compliance with licensing and sanitation. There are 39 public and private barbering schools with 82 instructors in the state.
CCC’s barbering program is part of the college’s Workforce Development (WFD) training program. Bryant joined the fledgling program in October 2013. He became its full-time director in March 2014. Bryant is a native of New Bern and began cutting hair when he was ten years old. Prior to joining CCC, he owned a barbershop. Bryant said transitioning to instructor was natural for him because he has always shared his barbering knowledge and passion with others.
In addition to teaching students hair cutting techniques, Bryant shares his professional and life experience with his students. Every day, Bryant writes a motivational quote on the board for discussion with his students. On being recognized for his leadership, Bryant said, “I didn’t expect to be at this level already in my life.”
“When Donell took over as director of our barbering program, it was having growing pains,” said Keith Williams, director of WFD service programs. Williams said it was because of Bryant’s work ethic and passion that the program was put back on the right track and has achieved success. To date, the program has achieved a 100 percent state exam pass rate under the direction of Bryant.
WFD currently offers full-time and part-time barbering courses with a maximum capacity of 20 students each. The NC Barber Board requires students to take 1,528 classroom hours of academic study and hands-on training, including hair cutting, styling, shaving, facials and hair coloring. Upon passing the exam, studets will receive an apprentice license.
Giovannie Corona was one of the first CCC barbering graduates to pass the state licensing exam. “Mr. Bryant deserves the award because he really puts the effort into the program and works hard to make students ready to become professional barbers,” said Corona. Corona is a barber at Royal Cutz in New Bern. He plans to become a barber in the U.S. Navy and eventually own his own barbershop.
Williams said because of the continued high demand for the barbering program, CCC is looking for a new location for the barbering program in the community. For more information about the barbering program, contact Williams at (252) 638-7353.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.