15-year-old PSU graduate gets help from local barber shop to study abroad


A local barber shop is helping raise money for a 15-year-old boy who wants to pursue a master’s degree in theoretical physics in Scotland.

Grant Harter, who became gifted at a young age, just graduated from Portland State University this summer. With a minor in math and graduating with honors, the teen is ready to explore.

“I think there are so many other kids out there that with the right support, could probably do the same thing,” said Harter.

The trip will grant Harter and his mother a chance to move away from their past. They were victims of domestic violence.

Harter’s mother said, “I know there are a lot of other individuals in the community going through something very similar, and I wanted to give the message to them that you can do this, and you can survive this, and you can even be stronger than before.”

Gary Hetrick, Harter’s barber, has known Harter since he was 12 years old.

“He didn’t actually tell me he was 12 until about halfway through the haircut and I about dropped my clippers,” Hetrick said.

When he learned his young client needed help paying for school, he was honored to host a cut-a-thon at his shop.

“To me, this is something that is such a part to be of that you never thought you could and I want to do everything I can to help,” said Hetrick.

With just a month to go and so much to look forward to, the mother and son duo are hoping to raise about $70,000 for their trip. It’s a yearlong journey they will take together.

If you’d like to help, you can visit their GoFundMe page.