Early College High School Gives Back to the Community

LENOIR, NC (February 18, 2022) – In a cafeteria filled with cheering, clapping, and music that energized the room like a pep rally for a title championship, the Caldwell Early College High School students proudly celebrated their students and staff who have championed the concept of selflessly giving back to their community and to others. Nearly a dozen students donated their hair today to one of the non-profit organizations, Locks of Love or Children with Hair Loss, contributing more than 13 feet of hair.

In photo from left Amelia Aubin – hair being cut by Ariana Hernandez and Jocelyn Torres-Flores – hair being cut by Brittany Mendez

“Being kind and giving back to our community is part of our culture,” said Kim Burns, Early College High School seminar teacher and master of ceremonies.

Students took center stage with friends, teachers, and family members clipping their braids and long locks, some donors giving up to 22 inches, which had taken more than two years to grow. They shared that they did it for loved ones who had suffered hair loss due to illness or felt compassion and empathy for children and young people suffering from hair loss conditions.

“I’ve been growing my hair out since October of 2019,” said student Cooper Wilson, “and I’ve wanted to do this since the beginning. I’m glad I can finally do it.”

After the ceremony, students went downstairs to the Cosmetology Department and Caldwell Community College students styled their hair and put on the finishing touches for a new shorter look.

Early College students also collected items and received donations to fill large gift baskets for Emergency Services and EMT units throughout the county. SGT Olivia Wilson Ford, senior paramedic for Caldwell County Emergency Services, addressed the student assembly and said that her job meant more to her than a paycheck.

“You spend a lot of your time away from your family but you also gain a family,” Ford said. “It’s not a career that will always be easy, but you’re part of a team-oriented job that involves trusting your co-workers.”

Ford explained the challenges as well as the rewards of working in the field of emergency services. She also invited students to get involved in their career interests now.

“Enjoy your high school years because adulthood is coming fast,” Ford said.

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