Shortly after he graduated from high school in 2001, Jerohl Davis pursued a career in construction. Though it paid well, Jerohl said it was hard to keep busy year-round.
“I had to work in the elements: rain, hail, sleet, snow. When I thought of the barbers I knew, they were all real cool guys who carried a certain swagger. They stayed dry all day, with work year-round,” he said.
As a boy, Jerohl never considered becoming a barber. “I just wanted to be successful in life, but we all have gifts or talents in us that spawn at different times. I’ve come to find being a barber is one of mine, and the time is now,” he said.
Jerohl had always loved the atmosphere of a barber shop, and had some experience giving haircuts to his friends and cousins, so he decided to change his career.
He first learned of the Bates Barber program from his barber. Then, he conducted his own research.
He discovered a common theme. Everyone he spoke with told him that Bates had the best barber program in Washington state.
Bates’ Barber program prepares students to become licensed barbers, and they learn all aspects of the profession. Theory, basic techniques, communications, math for barbers, and other courses help provide a well-rounded education that complements the hands-on style of learning the college is known for.
“Even people who weren’t barbers knew the instructor and said Bates was the place to be. So after all my footwork, I learned Bates was by far on top of the list when I decided which college to attend,” said Jerohl.
A winter quarter graduate, Jerohl now works at the Auburn Valley Barber Shop. His ultimate goal is to own a barber shop.
Jerohl recognizes that “understanding and mastering the grind of the craft has to come first. I plan to work at a shop long enough to polish all rough edges, then, one day open a shop of my own. I’ll employ others and help give them a way to provide for their families.”
Throughout the three-quarter program, students gain real-world experience working in the college’s barber shop at the Downtown Campus. When they successfully complete their education, students earn a Certificate of Competency and can sit for the state licensure exam.
When the 32-year-old reflected on his experience at Bates, he said, “I was able to learn techniques to polish my craft. Class was a lot of fun—but not just fun, it took hard work and discipline to accomplish my goals. The instructor is one of the best. Some people had never picked up a pair of clippers before they entered the program, and now they are successful barbers because of Mr. Olson.”
Even though he was dedicated to learning his craft, he experienced some hurdles. Jerohl credits the college’s support services for helping to see him through some tough financial circumstances during his education.
“It’s hard to go back to school as an adult, and still keep up with what life brings,” said Jerohl. “There were times when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish for financial reasons, but Bates worked with me every step of the way and helped make this dream possible. Bates has given me a new career and taught me skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life,” he added.
You can learn more about the Barber program at www.bates.ctc.edu/Barber.