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The Lompoc Vision

“Good News You Can Use.”

25

D

o you love people who want to make the world a better place? Do

you love dogs, cats, horses, animals, people, nature, the ocean?

The leaders of Cosmoton, The Lompoc Barber Academy have

always embraced a culture of giving back to the community they live in,

the planet they live on and to the people in the industry they serve.

Since 2004 the staff of Cosmoton Academy have been lending support

in a very personal way to a variety of causes. “Sometimes all it takes is a

set of clippers, an open heart and an opportunity.” Is the battle cry of one

of the learning leaders (teachers) at the Barber Academy.

In September 2018 Michael and Laura Funkhouser arrived in Lom-

poc and established a Barber Academy because they saw a need for well

trained talent in the hair industry. Once they had a physical location di-

aled in they immediately turned their attention to community outreach

and in April 2019 volunteered at Lompoc Spring Fest doing braids to

raise money for the Lompoc Flower Festival. They have, with the help of

their growing number of students, volunteered and raised money for the

Lompoc Theater Project, Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days, Santa Barbara

Alzheimer Research Foundation and Blue Sky Community Center.

“We love bringing our talents to festivals and events where the com-

munity is already congregated. The guests enjoy the novelty of having a

haircut in the park and our students get to have their lives touched by the joy they have just brought to someone else’s

live.”

The Funkhousers have done events over the years to support The Childrens Miracle Network, The Gary Sinise Foun-

dation, Food 4 Africa, Thirst Project, No Limits, Morris Animal Foundation, Best Friends and Haircuts From the Heart.

Since the start of Cosmoton Barber Academy in Lompoc, they have raised over $1000 toward charitable causes through

Cut-a-Thons, Haircut Booths and Bake Sales. Dollar by dollar, Cosmoton Barber Academy is making a difference in the

lives of their community.

School Leaders

Michael Funkhouser

Educator, Cutting Specialist, and Style Pro.

Our cutting, styling and theory specialist, Michael

Funkhouser made a name for himself early in his career working high-profile events. He got his start in hair in 2004, and

since then, his career has followed an astronomical upward path: from LA Fashion Week to the Miss America Beauty

Pageant to the Miss Chinese International Pageant toAmerican Idol, Teen Idol, and Chinese Idol. Specializing in Japanese

Lompoc Barber Academy; GivingBack is the New Black

E

very year, the Youth Leadership of Lompoc Valley committee selects 15-20 high school juniors from the various

High Schools in Lompoc. The program was founded in 1998 and it is designed to motivate the students through

teambuilding, seminars and spending time in the community. YLLV is an investment of the future of the Lom-

poc Valley by educating us youth about being a leader in our

community.

The program started September 14-15 with a two-day

retreat at Camp Whittier. Once getting on the bus, at first,

it was quiet and had an awkward vibe as most of us didn’t

know anyone or knew only few people. Activities started as

soon the bus left the Chamber with a toilet paper game where

you had to say something about yourself. This allowed us to

learn more about each other. Once we arrived at the camp,

we were paired up with people who had the same shoes and

had to do a trust exercise, creating a sense of trust with not

just, but everyone else there.

During the two days, we continued to participate in team

building activities which required trust, communication and

patience. Sunday included a high-ropes course. We each took

our turn climbing, while those not climbing held ropes con-

nected to the climber’s safety harness for safety of the climb-

ers. This instilled in us a trust of those supporting team that they wouldn’t let us fall. The ropes course forced us to face

challenges, fears and stretch our boundaries.

Overall, we were able to learn about each other and our interests through various activities that we participated in. It was

a learning experience about how to trust one another, work together, and listen to each other’s ideas. The Camp Whittier

retreat was a great experience to start off the 2019-2020 YLLV year.

Youth Leadership Lompoc Valley (YLLV) 2019-2020

(continued on page 26)