BRYAN, TX — At the corner of Villa Maria Road and Briarcrest Drive, the students of Modern Barber & Beauty Institute work their magic on all kinds of clientele.
Modern Barber & Beauty instructs 50 barber students and 20 cosmetology students, who give haircuts to all clients who come through the doors. And, when those clients are first responders, the haircut is free.
Institute co-owner and director Ramsey De La Cruz said a personal connection was behind the decision.
"My wife’s cousin is a local police officer here in Bryan," he said. "We've always had firefighters and police officers get haircuts with us in the past, so we just said, ‘you know what? Let’s go ahead and do it for free.’ They deserve it – they're putting their [lives] on the line for the community.”
Jamon Degrate, a barber student, recalled recently cutting the hair of a Bryan firefighter. They were able to discuss the customer's experiences and his advice for Degrate, as one of Degrate's goals is to become a volunteer firefighter.
"I didn't know they work 24 hours on, and 48 hours off," Degrate said. "So he came in on one of his off days, after doing a 24-hour shift; which is amazing. So it was a very informational conversation that we had. I had him laughing the whole time he was here.”
A Texas A&M alumnus and husband to a native Bryan resident, Ramsey De La Cruz said he’s felt drawn to serve the people of Brazos County.
"They’ve been very supportive," he commented. "They’ve always taken care of us, come out and visited us, and they’ve shown us so much love. And for us to return that favor, that’s why we do what we do for them.”
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