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PCC Barber School Instructor Earns Award

After receiving the "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Award" last month, Rodney Bullock was congratulated by PCC Coordinator of Entrepreneurial Education Gail Nichols, who nominated him for the honor.GREENVILLE—Rodney Bullock, an instructor with the Pitt Community College Continuing Education Division’s Altitude Academy of Barbering, was recently presented with the “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Award” by the Minority and/or Women Business Enterprise organization.

Bullock, whose motto is “you determine your own altitude,” has partnered with PCC for the past three years to offer the community an affordable way to obtain a barber’s license. The “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Award” he received is presented to individuals, organizations and groups that have fostered the advancement and growth of minority and women entrepreneurship in Greenville through leadership and commitment.

Gail Nichols, PCC Coordinator of Entrepreneurial Education, nominated Bullock for the award. She said it didn’t take long for her to realize that he taught his students—many who come from challenging backgrounds and some who have even been incarcerated—much more than just the skills needed to become a barber.

“Barbering is one profession that allows for mistakes as long as the person can prove that they are not a threat to society,” Nichols said. “Rodney takes these students and reincarnates them. They begin to believe in themselves and that they can be successful. Not only do they become great barbers, but they become great citizens.”

Nichols said Bullock teaches his students that they must give back to the community in order to be successful entrepreneurs, and he requires them to participate in community events.

“The students go to organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and give free haircuts to students as a ‘back-to-school’ promotion,” she said. “This is just one of the community-minded projects that Rodney believes makes his students not just good students but successful citizens and entrepreneurs.”

Bullock received his award on Sept. 19 at a luncheon held at Greenville’s Cornerstone Family Life Center as part of Minority Enterprise Development Week. The Minority and/or Women Business Enterprise organization that headed up the program is sponsored by the City of Greenville and Greenville Utilities Commission and is dedicated to “fostering supportive networks for the education, opportunity and empowerment of minority business owners.”

Located on Charles Boulevard in Greenville, Bullock’s Altitude Academy of Barbering is designed to educate and introduce competent candidates into the field of barbering and the wide scope of styling the barbering industry encompasses. It’s a nine-month program that requires individuals to successfully complete 1,528 hours of barbering theory and application as set forth by the North Carolina Board of Barber Examiners.

Upon successful completion of their hours, all students must complete 12 months of apprenticeship under the tutelage of an established, registered barber.