LNLC hosts Dress for Success Fashion Show

Chelsea High School and Project SEARCH students worked together to present the annual Dressed to Impress Fashion Show at the Linda Nolen Learning Center on April 8. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Chelsea High School and Project SEARCH students worked together to present the annual Dressed to Impress Fashion Show at the Linda Nolen Learning Center on April 8. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—A smile spread across Zach Dorsey’s face as his peers enthusiastically categorized his suit-and-tie outfit combination as “dressed to impress for success” during an April 8 fashion show hosted at the Linda Nolen Learning Center.

Dorsey, a Pelham High School graduate and Project SEARCH intern, was just one of many models clad in everything from floor-length dresses and suits to tie-dyed shirts and slippers.

The annual Dress for Success Fashion Show helps Linda Nolen Learning Center and students with special needs across the county learn how to dress for an interview through demonstrating both appropriate and inappropriate outfits.

“They learn how to and how not to dress for interviews in the classroom,” Shelby County Job Coach Cindy Vinson said. “The end product is the fashion show.”

During the show, Project SEARCH and Chelsea High School students model outfits, then the student audience decides whether the outfits are interview ready or not.

Through the process, students learn to differentiate between just looking nice “versus what to wear for the interview,” Vinson explained.

The annual fashion show is a four-year-long tradition at the Linda Nolen Learning Center and is the product of a collaborative effort between the Project SEARCH students and CHHS students in the business marketing department and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America classes, taught by Dora Montgomery and Cynthia Walker.

“It enhances their resume and helps with leaderships skills,” Walker said, noting the CHHS students largely took charge of the fashion show, coordinating outfits and emceeing the event.

“It was very everybody together, collaborating and using all of our resources out there to do what’s best for our students,” Vinson said.

In addition to being a fun event, the fashion show prepares the students for their upcoming mock interviews in May. This year’s mock interviews will occur on May 1, and will be open to students with special needs across Shelby County.