UM holds first Dress for Success event

By SABRINA ZIZO / Community Columnist

On Monday, Sept. 12 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., University of Montevallo students had the opportunity to shop for free professional clothes for their career and personal endeavors.

The Office of Service Learning, Phi Chi Theta and the Department of Partnership and Outreach hosted the university’s first UM Dress for Success event.

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Jennifer Payne and Shelby Smith attend the first UM Dress for Success event. (Contributed)

“While at a Civic Engagement conference at Auburn, a student spoke about a grant she used to accomplish different things on campus,” Dr. Amiee Mellon, Service Learning Coordinator and Instructor of Business at the university, said. “One of her events was a Professional Clothing event. I thought such an idea would be great for our students here at UM, and also thought it would tie in nicely with our annual Volunteer & Internship Fair.”

Along with the professional clothing drive, there was an area at the event where the 76 students who attended could get help with their resume from Angie Kelley, the director of the Career Development Center.

Many students left with an improved professional outfit and resume, along with refreshments.

A large part of the success of UM’s Dress for Success event has to do with the support it was given from faculty, staff and community members.

Thirty-nine individuals donated to the clothing drive; enough donated clothes from university and community members that two rooms in the GloCo Building were filled with women’s and men’s professional clothing.

The event was such a success that service learning is looking for storage on campus so that donations of professional clothing can be accepted year round.

“A warm thank you to all the community support and kind words,” Mellon said. “The Office of Service Learning also appreciates all the hard work put in by Ms. Staci Kolb and Phi Chi Theta, Angie Kelley from Career Services, and Kelli J. Holmes with UM’s Office of Partnership and Outreach.”