BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) is teaming up with Mitchell’s and Company, a barber and beauty salon in Baton Rouge, for “Shop Talk.”

Each month, barbers will visit an East Baton Rouge Parish public school to provide free haircuts for boys as well as facilitate healthy conversations. While getting their haircut, students have an opportunity to select relevant topics that interest them and discuss those subjects with the barbers.

Volunteer and Community Partners Director Justin Lewis said, “Through this partnership with Mitchell’s and Company, we’re not just giving haircuts; we’re cutting through silence, shaping conversations, and building confidence. We believe fostering an environment where young men can openly discuss important topics contributes to their overall well-being and helps them face life’s challenges with strength and resilience.”

Shop Talk is part of VIPS’ Partners In Education project that enlists community resources to fulfill student needs. VIPS hopes to demonstrate that appropriate expressions can reduce feelings of isolation and depression.

The first Shop Talk will take place at LaSalle Elementary from 9-10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2.

Staci Mitchell, co-owner of Mitchell’s and Company, is excited about “Shop Talk” and said, “We understand that the past year has been challenging for many, and we want to do our part in helping young men feel their best as they navigate through life. At Mitchell’s and Company, we believe that grooming plays a significant role in boosting self-esteem, and we want to empower young men by providing them with fresh haircuts that can help them face the world with confidence.”

Volunteers In Public Schools is an independent nonprofit that strives to foster student success and build support for public education.