Career Closet: Campus Community to Provide Wardrobe for Job Seekers With Service Project to Commemorate MLK Day
The Center for Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement (SLICE), the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), and the Office of Student Life, and the Office of Student Development at California State University, Dominguez Hills are observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a project to outfit job seekers in the local community with business- appropriate clothing and accessories.
Cheryl McKnight, SLICE director, was approached by Cynthia Turner, president of BFSA, to collaborate on a project to commemorate the MLK Jr. observance. Since the campus is closed on Monday, Jan. 18, the two decided to dedicate the rest of the week, from Jan. 19 to Jan. 22, as the Week of the Volunteer. The Office of Student Life, led by Marco Dowell is also a participant and will provide student volunteers to accept donations throughout the week at its location in the Loker Student Union. Cleaned and pressed professional clothing will be accepted along with ties, briefcases, handbags, and other accessories that are clean and in good condition.
“We realize that often when people need to search for employment, they do not have the professional clothes they need to make a good impression,” says McKnight.
Turner says that part of the reason for the clothing drive is to pay a debt of gratitude to local residents who have been loyal friends to CSU Dominguez Hills.
“They support our students, programs and events,” she says. “Some are alumni themselves, and unfortunately some have been laid off from jobs they may have once thought they would retire from.
“CSU Dominguez Hills does an excellent job in preparing students academically for success in the career of their choice, so it just seems like the right thing to do to help those students and local residents who have been hit hard by the downturn in the economy by providing them with something appropriate to wear to a job interview so they can feel confident, make a good first impression and get that job.”
“CSU Dominguez Hills’ responsibility to its community members is reflected in our strategic plan and mission statement,” says McKnight. “We are so proud of our students, faculty, administrators, and staff for being some of the most involved in the CSU system. The CSU Office of the Chancellor has been wonderful in supporting our community engagement efforts, and is sponsoring training [for SLICE staff] funded by the SURDNA Foundation (a nonprofit that supports sustainable environments, local economies and cultural programs) to help get our students more involved.”
“In recent years, it has become more apparent that anyone can find him or herself in great need and on the receiving end of another person’s goodwill,” says Turner. “This project is a reminder that nothing in life is guaranteed and that the best way to show thanks for even the smallest blessings in life is to share a part of it with someone else.”
As preparations were made this week for the Career Closet project, a devastating 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12. SLICE and other organizations on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus rose to the occasion and are currently conducting a drive for food, medical supplies, blankets, and clothing for the victims of the disaster. The Office of Student Life, the Office of Government and Community Relations, the Labor Studies Club, and the Center for Learning and Academic Support Services are co-sponsors of the drive.
- Joanie Harmon
Photo above: Members of the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) and the Center for Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement (SLICE) hold a clothing drive for job seekers.
L-R, top row: Ormond Rucker, office manager, Academic Affairs Personnel Services; Adria Edwards, staff specialist, Human Resources Management and vice president, BFSA
L-R, front row: Marco Dowell, director, Office of Student Life; Ava Petty, administrative assistant, Center for Learning and Academic Support Services; Shenella Golden, graduate admissions evaluator, Admissions and Records; Cynthia Turner, articulation officer, Records and Registration and president, BFSA; and Cheryl McKnight, director, SLICE
Photo by Joanie Harmon