ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – One local beautician school gives back to the community. New York Beauty and Barber Academy provides free haircuts to train future stylists and help those in need.

The New York Beauty and Barber Academy has been set up in downtown Elmira since 2016, helping students develop their trade and provide a service to the community.

“The more they can have practice before they graduate and go out into the real world, the better off they will be. It’s more of an experience,” said Tony Sorci, Instructor, New York Beauty and Barber Academy.

The institution assists residents in maintaining their looks and remaining ready for any occasion.

“Usually midway through their curriculum, we’ll start offering services to the public,” said Sorci.

A free haircut can go a long way for those who can’t afford it.

“Some people have court dates or have a large family. That can be costly if you go into a barbershop. We try to support folks that can’t get to the barbershop frequently or if their schedules don’t match up. They can come in here and get a free haircut and really help our barber students’ progress,” said Sorci.

“Being able to help people for the sake of helping people. Yeah, we’re doing this for a career to get paid, but there’s a certain amount of heart in it that you really don’t get access to in any other career,” said Cameron Bockus.

Students who attend this academy say they enjoy the feeling that comes with boosting a resident’s confidence.

“Seeing somebody walk in and then walk out differently. They walk out like a different person, more confident. You don’t know what they’re going to do that day. You know they’re going to crush it. And that’s because you had a hand in that.” said Bockus.

In the eyes of the New York Beauty and Barber Academy, taking pride in one’s look advances us all as a community.