Josephine is a quiet girl, anxious and introverted. On this particular day in the Crisis Program we had a volunteer hairdresser coming in to cut youth's hair - a rare treat for many of the youth. When I asked Josephine if she was interested in getting her hair cut her eyes lit up and she smiled at me. She didn't say anything right away, but I could tell she was very excited about this opportunity.
A few seconds later Josephine said "that's great, it's been a while". Then the girly youth worker in me came out and I asked what type of haircut she had in mind. Josephine said she always dreamed of having a short bob. I encouraged her to go for it and try it out. Josephine and I then went on the computer and looked for hairstyles she liked. Together we printed out a small stack of ideas she had for her new haircut. She became more alive and more engaged than I'd ever seen her. She was giggling and searching through dozens of possible options. She finally settled on a picture and lined up for the hairdresser. Twenty minutes later she came out looking completely different. I could tell from her face that she was so excited.
It's amazing the effect one volunteer and one haircut can have on the life of a youth!