Rafael Martinez, a third year student at LCE, has always been interested in learning to be a barber, so he reached out to Carlos Rosado, owner of Luxury Cuts in Leominster and Fitchburg. The pair made an easy and quick connection, realizing that they shared much in common beyond barbering: both are from towns near Ponce, Puerto Rico, Martinez loves basketball and Mr. Rosado is a former player and coach, and both value family and professionalism in their lives. Martinez spends two days per week at the Central Street location where he is learning not only about barbering, but–most importantly–the principles of running a successful business and the necessary communication and math skills to do it well. “School was never really my thing, but when I get to the barbershop I always feel ready to work. Now school is better because I am learning things that will actually matter in my future,” Martinez says of his experience this year.