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The Western Youth Network: A Day for Confidence

By The Western Youth Network
It is the Western Youth Network’s mission to build youth of character and confidence. Last Friday, large steps were taken toward that goal.
Dave Albin of Firewalk Productions, LLC led after school in a boundary breaking and confidence building activity. He began with a motivational talk which included stories of adversity, perseverance, and accomplishment. His finale, however, was when the real magic happened.
Each child was handed a board of white pine and a marker. Each was asked to write on the board something they wanted to work towards and something difficult they hoped to move away from. They were then guided in an empowering journey to break their board with their own hands. With Mr. Albin there to safely lead them, each child who wished to participate was able to successfully break through their board.
For one child the task proved harder than for the others. In tears she tried over and over to break through. Given many opportunities to quit, she refused and persisted. Finally, to the encouraging cheers of her WYN family, she succeeded in slicing the board with her foot.
WYN provides safe challenges in a supportive environment where youth can realize their full potential and flourish with confidence.
That very same afternoon, four of our WYN boys had the chance to find their confidence another way; they got their dream haircuts.
These guys had had their eyes on the celebrity “fade” haircut for some time but did not have the means to go to a hairdresser. Last Friday, thanks to the generosity of downtown Boone’s Canvas Beauty Bar, our boys finally got their “fade” looks.
When they arrived at Canvas that afternoon, they were nervous and skeptical. It was their first salon experience and they wondered if getting a haircut would hurt. When it became clear they would all survive, they loosened up and began to smile! Getting their heads massaged during the wash was a crowd favorite.
The experience took on even more meaning when we realized that one of the stylists helping us was a previous WYN kid herself. She shared how much she had loved WYN and how it changed her life. She had requested to be one of the Canvas stylists to cut our kids’ hair and offered to help more kids with haircuts in the future. The WYN family is large and loving!
When the boys’ cuts were finished, they couldn’t stop looking in the mirror! They had been transformed outwardly and it had a powerful impact on how they felt inwardly. We all know that feeling of confidence that can come from getting a new look – clothes, hair, make-up, etc. Together, WYN and Canvas gave these boys the chance to feel that transformative boost.
Four shy and shaggy boys walked into Canvas. Four confident and adorable young men walked out.