Kenosha’s Alvin Owens helping students make college choices, memories for 25 years

Local barber ready to pass on the tour legacy to someone new

KENOSHA, Wis. — Kenosha’s Alvin Owens is a barber by trade. Those who know him best, understand he does far more than that.

Owens, founder of Education Youth Development Outreach, has taken area students on spring break tours of historically black colleges and universities for the past 25 years.

The bus leaves for Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday.

“They’re able to come back home with healthy choices and say, ‘Hey, I want to stay local’ or say, ‘I want to go out of state, I want to leave’,” said Owens, owner of Kenosha’s Regimen Barber Collective. “But if they never see it, they’ll never know what it feels like.”

A large group of teens from the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha is participating in this year’s trip.

Talib Young, the BGCK Youth of the Year, said he is looking forward to touring schools, meeting new people, and sampling some southern cuisine.

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Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha Youth of the Year Talib Young.

“This is getting us out (of) the comfort zone for not just one thing, not just visiting the colleges, but meeting new people, getting experience,” Young said. “(It’s) showing how it’s going to be once you’re 18 and out of the house and what are your career plans for the future.”

On Monday, Owens wrapped up his annual Barber Challenge at Regimen Barber Collective. He gave 36 haircuts over 24 hours from noon Sunday to noon Monday.

The money raised helps fund the annual trip.

Kenosha’s Brandon Morris was just a middle school student when he participated in one of Owens’ first-ever college tours.

“I think it was extremely important to have that experience because we didn’t just visit one or two colleges,” Morris said. “I mean, we visited maybe 20 different colleges.”

After 25 years, Owens said he is looking for someone to carry on the tour’s legacy. The program has expanded to Chicago and Minneapolis.

“It has been an incredible journey,” Owens said.