Indiana vice-principal turns cafeteria into barbershop to teach young men life lessons

INDIANAPOLIS -- A vice-principal at a private school in Indianapolis is using haircuts to change lives.

On Thursdays, Providence Cristo Rey High School's basement cafeteria becomes a barbershop.

For the young men in the room, the weekly sessions are about more than just looking good.

For the past three years, Vice-Principal Fred Yeakey has spearheaded his "Grooming the Outer Man, Guiding the Inner Man" program, WTTV-TV reported.

Students sign up to get a free haircut and end up leaving with a free life lesson.

"The quickest way to change a culture, a pulse and the climate of the school is not what you do in the classroom," Yeakey said. "It's what you do outside the classroom."

Yeakey offers students in need of male role models mentorship, guiding them to a brighter future.

"So I had to get close to them so they understood that I cared for them first. Then I gave them the opportunity so they can then see why," Yeakey said.

One of the students said the sessions feel like "a family."

For the seniors in the program, it's been three years of growth and development. Now they help to lead the younger members while contemplating their own futures.

"It just lets you know sometimes the seed you plant can be the blessing and the hope for tomorrow," Yeakey said.

He said the reward of the program is seeing each young man's personal growth.

"I want this to be a movement," Yeakey said. "I want someone to be compelled to do something in the hopes that it can become something you never imagined."