Shelley South, the owner of Yu Beauty Lounge, does a lot for the community.

Her salon during the winter collects coats for kids and is always looking for others ways to serve others. After a conversation with Barb Dexter with the Anchorage School District's Child In Transition program, South thought it would be a good idea to donate her salon and her stylists time to give free haircuts to students in the program.

"I came up with the idea after talking to some of my colleagues," South said. "It just seemed like a good thing to do."

"I've known Shelley for about 30 years," said Barb Dexter, a secondary specialist with the Child In Transition. "I told her a lot about the program and one time mentioned to her what a luxury item it is for kids to get their hair cut."

After a month of planning and various phone calls to family, the date was set and the stylists ready to go. For five hours, stylists from Yu Beauty Lounge and other salons donated their time to make a difference in many kids' lives.

"They all have different personalities, that's for sure," stylist Aubrey Basler said. "Some like school, some don't like school. Most just want a little trim and don't want their hair chopped off. One little girl wanted a pixie and her mom said no, so, she wasn't a happy camper."

Around 60 kids received the full salon experience, complete with a shampoo, cut and style. Every half an hour, 10 to 15 kids are shuffled into the waiting stylists.

"Shelley set up different stations to make it move along quickly," Dexter said. "It's exciting to see someone with a look like it's time for a cut. I watched one little girl who hadn't had a cut in a long time walk away looking like the princess. We also had a young man with long hair and he went with a shorter domestic cut to have out in the workplace. He's going to graduate here soon."

The program was such a success that owner Shelley South is now considering holding the event on a quarterly basis. For more information on Yu Beauty Lounge, check out their website

Around 4,000 children are in the Child In Transition program, not all of them are in the school district. Some of the students are under the age of 5, while others are over the age of 18 and not currently in school and experience homelessness in the Anchorage community. The goal of the Child in Transition program is to get kids back into school, to get to school and to stay in school.

"Getting them to school is a big part of our role," Dexter said. "Sometimes they change locations and we help them get to school. We give them perks like this, we work with the HUGS program to give them school supplies, we advocate with teachers and do some tutoring."

For more information of the Child In Transition program, visit their webpage.

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