Students spruce up for job searches at student clothing drive
By Sarayuth Pinthong
Media Club Reporter
Central Penn students had the opportunity to meander through a music-filled room containing an assortment of charming – pause for effect – FREE CLOTHES during the student clothing drive at the Capital BlueCross Theatre on Jan. 19.
Did you miss it? Well, that’s exactly what happened.
Why would anyone give all this stuff away?
Some would say, “Who cares? It’s free.” As a roadmap to success, a wise person once said. “Dress for the part you want, not the one you have.”
A team effort
“We involve a lot of community partners, along with our business and industry leaders, by encouraging them to bring gently used professional clothing for our students,” Dr. Karen M. Scolforo, president of Central Penn College, said.
About two years ago, Central Penn shifted from requiring students to wear business attire every day, to practice professionalism, to everyday attire.
“It became more important than ever to help our students,” Scolforo said. “When they need to dress up in preparation for an interview, we’re able to support them by having the clothing that they need.”
Many visitors to Central Penn have seen the mirrors in restrooms with the advice “Appearance Matters” and “Dress for Success.” The message is about looking the part. The student clothing drive provided students the opportunity to do just that.
“I’ve been to colleges that offered resources where you could go and find clothes,” Angel Carrion, business management and human resources major, said. “This is the first college that actually did an event on campus with free clothes, which is very helpful.”
Big selection – look around
The selection of clothes ranged from dresses to slacks, and from shoes to an assortment of suits for men and women.
All that was needed was a little time to look around in search of what was hidden on the racks.
“That’s a lot of available clothes,” Carrion said. “There are different designs and cuts. Everyone can find something here. All you have to do is try them on, see if you like them, see if they fit and you can take them.”
If you didn’t come early enough, you probably missed out on all the good stuff. It’s a “first come, first serve” situation, as Tyrie Orosco, communication major, found out.
“I think I came too late,” Orosco said. “They probably had more varieties in my size.”
It didn’t dampen his spirits for the event, though.
“I appreciate Central Penn for what they’re doing to help us out,” he said. “This is for us. We can come in here and enjoy picking up a few things or just see what you like.”
Where did the idea come from?
Of course, Scolforo didn’t take all the credit for the event’s success. She recognized the help of the community, and support from Beth Baker, her executive assistant, and Stephanie Humphrey, transcript coordinator, for making the event possible. She said the two women “led the charge.”
“It was a collaborative idea,” Scolforo said. “ We all got together and talked about ways we could help students. We’ve always had a career closet in Career Services, so it’s not a new idea to the college.”
Humphrey, Baker and Dean of Student Affairs Dave Baker were available to assist in making sure students had the clothes they needed by matching jackets, dress pants, ties, dresses or anything else students required.
Scolforo is continuously involved with the community, communicating with business and industry leaders on how they can participate by donating clothes to the students.
“Every time I see them, I always bring up the fact that our students could really benefit if they’ve got gently used professional clothing,” Scolforo said. “That’s kind of how it started.”
Does it really matter how I dress?
Scolforo commented that if students aren’t dressed appropriately for interviews, there’s a good chance they won’t get the job.
“We want to make sure they’re successful and competitive out the gate. That’s really our primary focus.”
So what’s next?
So if you missed it, don’t worry. You’ll have another opportunity. Plans call for the event to happen once a quarter, according to Scolforo.
Donations are accepted year-round.
“Go check out the clothes, ” Carrion said. “There’s no pressure and lots of help.”
Who doesn’t like getting things for free? Especially clothes.
For information on the next student clothing drive or to make clothing donations, contact: Beth Baker at 717 728-2324 or by email at email@example.com.
To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact KnghtlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.
Edited by Knightly News Co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.