Statesboro native, business owner, and Ogeechee Technical College graduate, Terry Lamonte, recently shared with inmates at the Bulloch County and Screven County Correctional Facilities his story of honing his passion for barbering while being incarcerated as part of the Student Success Speaker Series hosted by OTC’s Adult Education Program.
Lamonte is a Master Barber, Barber Instructor and Business Management graduate of OTC. He is the owner of Heavenly Pleasures Barbershop located in Statesboro, Georgia, which is the recent recipient of the 2020 “Best In The Boro” award for the Best Barbershop.
“Heavenly Pleasures was born the day I wrote it down in 2013. I talked about it all of the time,” said Lamonte. “There were some who tried to be supportive, but they didn’t see it like I did. I always knew that my life had purpose, even while I was locked up.”
Lamonte shared with almost 100 inmates that while barbering is his passion, he didn’t pick up his first set of clippers until he was incarcerated. “Barbering saved my life,” he said. He told everyone that he began using his skills at the facility, cutting everyone’s hair for free. He laughed while he admitted that he wasn’t very good at it when he started. Lamonte encouraged attendees to find something that they loved and to learn as much about it as possible. He also encouraged them to write down all of their dreams and goals.
“Adult Education is all about the story behind the story,” said Samantha Smith, Dean of Adult Education. “So often we write people off due to their circumstances without hearing about the stories or conditions that got them there. These events allow us to hear the stories and provide opportunities for a new story, a new script, that can lead to an entirely different ending.”
Lamonte’s accolades have piled up since beginning his business. He was recognized by Discovering Bulloch Magazine, receiving the Readers Chose Award for “Most Amazing Hairstylist”, and by the Bulloch County NAACP, for his contributions during the 2020 election. Lastly, his barbershop received “Best Barbershop of 2021″ recognition from the Discovering Bulloch publication. He explained that getting to where he is today wasn’t easy but that he was motivated by his children and his desire to help others.
“I strive to help others reach their true potential in their life while spreading positivity,” he said. His ultimate goal is to open a barber school in Statesboro to help educate and train future barbers.