Javaro Johnson is a busy 15-year-old.
The Hillsborough High sophomore spends weekday afternoons running around as the one of safeties for the Terriers. While most teenagers while their time away relaxing with friends on Saturdays, Javaro devotes his free time to working at Barbers by Design in Tampa.
He greets customers, sweeps up hair and keeps the place looking clean.
But it's as much a school as it is a barber shop.
Barbers by Design owner Tony Rivero instills life lessons between cuts.
"I learn about responsibility and coming to work," Javaro said. "Just like some days you don't want to go to practice, but I have to."
Rivero, Javaro's neighbor and mentor, made on-the-job life skills a primary goal. He has cut Javaro's hair for the past five years and wanted to help keep the teen out of trouble.
"I try to teach him how to respect himself and ways to succeed," Rivero said. "To show him that we are a team, just like when he plays football, and how to get along with other people."
For Javaro, the wisdom he has gained transcends their simple places of origin.
It's helping guide a young man on the football field and in the game of life.