William Burt’s story is one of immense courage and perseverance. Growing up in Coco, Mississippi, he was drawn to the streets at a young age. He soon found himself in and out of prison due to his involvement with gangs and illegal activities. In prison, he discovered an interest in barbering, which eventually led him to transformation. Today, William is a successful barber who has gone on to sit on the Iowa Board of Barbering, mentor youth and operate his nonprofit organization.
At first, William saw barbering as a way to freshen up inmates for visits but then it became so much more than that for him – it was an avenue for connection and relationship building with other inmates. He also gained knowledge from mentors who have experienced professionals in the trade. This newfound passion had given him a sense of purpose which allowed him to stay focused during his time behind bars and plan for a better future when he got out.
After being released from prison, William found himself struggling to make ends meet until one day when his son showed up at his door unannounced. During this visit, he realized how much hurt he had caused his family during his years away from them by living an unhealthy lifestyle, which led him towards finding genuine happiness through barbering again. His relationship with his son became the motivation needed to turn things around; choosing family over street life meant making progress each day toward a better future for both himself and those closest to him.
He would face another obstacle though, as he went to open his mobile barber shop, he soon found it was illegal to do so in Iowa, no mobile barber shops allowed. He worked with the local Iowa Americans for Prosperity state chapter to bring his dream to life and make it legal to have a mobile barber shop.
Today, William has gone on to accomplish many successes since deciding to rebuild his life after reconnecting with family members such as operating a nonprofit organization called “Beards & Cuts” which helps homeless men learn about barbering so they can gain financial independence; sitting on the Iowa Board of Barbering where he uses his voice to help bring about change within the industry; mentorship through conversations with his 12-year old son where they discuss how far they have come together as father and son since their paths crossed again many years ago. These are just some examples of how far determination can take you. William Burt’s inspiring story shows us all that anything is possible if we never give up no matter what obstacles may come our way!
Listen to the episode behind this article here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/american-potential/id1661043438?i=1000603977542