Nick Berardi Sr. said the hair styling industry is on fire right now and that presents opportunities and perhaps a brighter and better future for the students at The Glen Mills Schools who are learning how to become barbers. Berardi and his two sons, Nick Jr. and Joey, who are in the business with their father, are always looking for opportunities to give back when they can. He recently visited Glen Mills to talk to students in the barbering program and was impressed with their commitment to learn the trade. “At first I started talking to them about my success, but I didn’t seem to be connecting with them. I was talking way over their heads.” Berardi began to tell his story. “I told them how I was kicked out of three high schools in the 1960s, went to trade school and learned to be a barber.” That, he said, seemed to resonate with the students who are at Glen Mills because of bad decisions they made in the past. As he continued the story and showed them how he cuts hair, the students moved closer, touching and almost smothering Berardi to soak up as much information as they could. Berardi said we need to do more in this country to support apprenticeship programs and trade schools. “The perception is you are already a failure if you’re in a trade school and that has to change,” said Berardi.
Glen Mills Barber student Jordan Lattimer was happy to learn from a successful shop owner. “Mr. Berardi was awesome,” Lattimer said. “We learned a lot and you can tell that he cares about his clients and his business while staying on the cutting edge.” Glen Mills Barber Shop instructor Jonathan Hicks welcomed the visit. “Mr. Berardi was great,” Hicks said. “He gave a fantastic presentation to our students and offered a lot of insightful advice that can help these young men be successful within the industry. He demonstrated how the barber/hair styling field has evolved and that reinforces what we teach here.” The Barbering program is just one of nearly two dozen Career and Technical Education programs on the campus of The Glen Mills Schools in Thornbury Township, Delaware County.