In 2010, Lois Mineau, volunteer coordinator at the Hennepin County Home School, was looking for someone to teach a basic cosmetology course, so she sent a letter to the biggest name in the Twin Cities world of hair: Horst Rechelbacher.
“To my surprise, he called me four days afterward and said he was very interested in the work that we were doing at the County Home School and he asked if he could come out and do a presentation and view the campus,” Mineau said in a county-produced video.
The video was shown last Tuesday as the board was preparing to honor Rechelbacher, who founded Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients.
Rechelbacher gave a speech to campus students about overcoming barriers and about the importance of education,” Mineau said. As he was leaving, he told her he wanted to have an ongoing relationship with the school and that he would be in touch. He was and he did, in the form of $50,000 donations for college scholarships in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Rechelbacher died Saturday at his home in Wisconsin from pancreatic cancer. He was 72.
The Hennepin County Home School is on 167 acres in Minnetonka just off County Road 62. The facility treats kids from 13 to 20 years old who have been referred by the court.
The facility is in the district represented by Commissioner Jan Callison, who regularly attends the graduation ceremonies. “At its best, what we do is give people hope,” Callison said.
Rechelbacher had his own up-by-the-bootstraps success story. A self-described horrible student, he dropped out of school at 14 and became an apprentice barber.
The county’s video featured a young graduate of the program named William, who was at the school for 18 months. He received a scholarship and was hoping to use it to work toward his dream of a four-year college degree. He was handed the scholarship and his diploma at the same time.
The video is at: http://bit.ly/1mpoctk