Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan is proud to celebrate Local Black Heroes in honor of Black History Month. Please join us on social media and throughout the month on our website to learn more about the impact local heroes have in your community.
Say hello to Dré Patterson: co-owner of The Presidential Blend Suite barbershop, whose goal is to bring a “fresh breath to barbering.” Since age 11, Dré has been learning and perfecting his craft as a barber. He started by cutting his own hair, when his older brother gave him a pair of clippers.
Every year, Dré participates in Project Connect, a project that “connects people to services in Kalamazoo County.” At Project Connect events, dozens of vendors are brought together to help low-income residents and families access services. Attendees find health screenings, housing assistance, financial guidance, and much more.
Through Project Connect, Dré gets to cut hair, and interact with kids from his community. A simple, yet meaningful way for him to give back, which is what he loves most about barbering. “The kids whose parents can’t afford to get them haircuts often, I love cutting their hair…just to see them happy after the fact,” he says. Dré helps give kids’ confidence and self-esteem a boost that allows them to walk a little taller and step a little lighter on their journey.
Mentors and Legacy
In reminiscing about his own life’s journey, he mentioned “Tim Terrentine, Johnny Whilhite, Anthony Stucky, O’neal Ollie, and Dave Saunders” as just a few of his mentors.
Dré Patterson aspires to be remembered as “someone who was reliable and helped others.” An aspiration that will undoubtedly be fulfilled.
Find Local Black Heroes throughout the month of February on social media and on our website and visit ThinkBigToday.org/Volunteer for more information about how you can ignite the power and potential of youth in Southwest Michigan.