Dress for success

September 26, 2018

La PORTE — La Porte High School’s Slicer Success Closet offers teens no cost professional clothing to wear for interviews. The long neglected program has gotten a breath of new life in recent weeks.

No more will Slicers have to rely on the community’s outdated castoffs. Instead, La Porte High School will be filling its closets with brand new business attire.

The program found its new footing after College and Career Readiness Coordinator Matthew Presley wrote and received approval for the Unity Foundation Power of Good Grant.

The grant awarded the program $2,500 to help pay for professional outfits for teens in need.

In addition to the awarded money, Presley reached out to local businesses to help with the cause. Judee’s Boutique, located at 1104 Indiana Ave. and L.R. Men’s Clothier, 1611 Lincoln Way, immediately stepped up to partner with Slicer Success Closet.

The stores will be splitting the awarded grant money, and making it stretch. Both stores are expected to give more than $5,000 (retail value) worth of professional clothing.

“These are two great local businesses and partners for our school, going above and beyond to support our students, helping to prepare them to look and feel their best in high leverage moments like job interviews, mentorships, internships and community presentations,” said Presley.

L.R. Men’s Clothier store manager Leann VanSchoyck was extremely receptive to Presley’s proposal. She has a long history in using her skills as an outfitter to help those in need, so she did not hesitate to help in this collaboration.

“I want kids to go into interviews feeling good and confident,” said VanSchoyck.

The store managers worked with Presley to pick out some bare essentials in interview clothing. L.R. Men’s clothing provided mostly men’s basics such as pre-hemmed pants and button-down shirts in various sizes.

Judee’s Boutique provided an assortment of women’s business casual clothing that mainly consisted of blouses and dress pants for the working woman. All of the donated clothes are quality and of contemporary style.

Presley, along with many students from La Porte High School, presented the $1,250 check to Brandy Bishop, store manager of Judee’s Boutique, on Friday afternoon. In exchange, the students received upwards of $5,000 in merchandise from the store.

When asked her thoughts on the situation, student Reilly Briggs said, “It will be very helpful for the students’ interviews and will really help them get careers.”

In addition to the arrival of the new professional clothing, the school was able to utilize their welding program to craft mobile clothing racks to house the influx of new clothes. The clothing will be available for student use as soon as possible.

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