Written by William Bryant Rozier
The reputation of Recalibrated Christian Beauty and Barber College proceeds it, even through a name and location change, and a temporary closing, by the grace of God, said Founder Theresa Link.
Recalibrated Christian is only a recent name change. For the about 17 years, the college was known statewide as Chosen Christian Beauty and Barber College, Inc., previously situated at 3927 South Calhoun Street.
Corner stores CVS and Family Dollar, in front of and adjacent to Chosen Christian, got robbed too many times. “They were hitting Family Dollar like two or three times a week,” Link said.
She, along with the parents of her students, grew concerned, so the school moved five years ago to its current spot, 6422 Georgetown North Blvd., when former student James Blackman thought of Link when he stumbled upon the empty space.
The demographics and diverse businesses around it worked for Link; Recalibrated Christian’s students are predominantly Burmese, Vietnamese, and Hispanic. The head count sits temporarily at 15; new enrollment is a constant. More barbers and nail techs are enrolling and graduating. “We’re not teaching a lot of cosmologists right now,” Link said.
Recalibrated/Chosen was the first Christian beauty and barber college to open both in the city and the state, according to Link. Since its 2000 establishment year, a confirmed 5,000(!) have graduated from the college, and you can pretty much close your eyes, point, and (without using the Force) find one of their graduates at any Fort Wayne barber shop.
Recalibrated Christian is owned by Link’s son, Willie White Jr., business manager since 2001 who estimated he has personally taught over “75% of Fort Wayne” barbers. “A lot of them came from broken homes. A lot of them been locked up. By them coming here, being a professional barber changed their lives.”
White also said a lot of them put God first in their lives; Recalibrated Christian’s instructor demands respect to be received because it will be given, as Christ’s teachers are at the center of what they do.
Oh, and the school has an A+ rating, graduating 99% of its enrollees.
Link, at that coveted just-chillin’ age, described her role as an executive consultant…who works over 40 hours a week, opening the shop at 5 A.M. and closing it at 7 P.M. almost every day. “I enjoy seeing others going forward.” Clearly.
Link opened Chosen Christian after getting the call from God in 1999. Not immediately after, she wasn’t ready for that. She sold jewelry and clothes out of her salon at Creighton and Calhoun. But those items weren’t selling, and Link kept seeing “so many men and women on the street who had the gift in their hands,” she said, I knew my ultimate goal was to get them off the streets and show them their gifts.”
In her first college class, three of her six students did some prison time and the others were on a work release program. Link has always enrolled anyone who wants to learn, especially those whose past mistakes have stained them. “I’ve financially sent 22 students, who’ve been to prison or on work release, to our college. Most of them have been to prison or was on work release,” Link said.
“Don’t let anyone tell you because you made a mistake in life, you cannot achieve your dreams.”
Tuition is affordable (nine to 10-month program, depending on your specialty) for a barber and beauty school on this scale; barbers and cosmetologists need 1,500 hours of service to attain their license, and manicurists need 450. It’s still a college, so exams are taken.
The school only reopened March 22, 2018, after being closing for six months. Officially, the State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers said it was over clerical errors. Link surmised there was more to it, but what are you going to do? Link was at the shop at the same time in the morning, preparing and praying.
When the clerical errors were resolved, when the school reopened, White and Link, who did no marketing, were greeted with “almost a full house” of students and clients.
Some of those assembled were students who were given the option of transferring their credits to another college. Some had only 500 remaining credits to go, but decided to stay at Recalibrated Christian.
“They gave me the fight. God is real,” said Link, “and we are going strong.”
Recalibrated Christian Beauty and Barber College, LLC
(formerly Chosen Christian Beauty and Barber College, Inc.)
6422 Georgetown North Blvd. | Fort Wayne, Indiana 46815 | 260.744.3763