Why I volunteer in the Career Center (and why you should consider it, too)

Why I volunteer in the Career Center (and why you should consider it, too)

When I moved from Dallas to Miami I was looking for a volunteer opportunity where I could utilize my experience in business while making a positive impact in the lives of others. What I wasn’t prepared for was the impact it would make in my own life.

As a volunteer for the Career Center at Dress for Success Miami, I have discovered a sense of passion for connecting with and giving back to those in need. I see clients every week who are passionate about finding a career; they just need some coaching from someone to locate an opportunity. Through connecting with my clients, I find that most of them are not unlike myself and have ended up in their situation through no fault of their own. I realized that in some cases I could easily be in my client’s situation, without a job or way to make a living for my family. The moment I recognized how similar we are, I began to have a true appreciation for the impact that non-profit organizations such as Dress for Success Miami have in other’s lives.

As a career center volunteer I get the pleasure of connecting with several clients each week while helping them create a resume, search for a job, or prepare for an interview. Throughout the process I am able to utilize my professional experience as a hiring manager to assist someone who is passionate about finding a career. I have discovered that volunteering at the career center is not only personally rewarding, but also develops me professionally. As I’ve learned through my own career development, listening, connecting with others, and giving regular feedback helps me become a better leader to my teams. Volunteering at Dress for Success Miami allows me to utilize those same skills to help those needing employment. Each client that visits the career center has a different background of experience, and through listening and connecting with them I am able to search for the career that best suits their needs.

As weeks and months of preparing clients for careers goes by, there is nothing as inspiring as receiving that email or phone call that of my clients has been hired. If you are looking for a looking for a way to make a difference in our community while utilizing your professional experience, please consider the Dress for Success Miami Career Center.

— Susan, Career Center volunteer

Holiday Schedule

Holiday Schedule

Please note the following changes to our holiday schedule:

Monday, Nov. 21 – Friday, Nov. 25
Closed for Thanksgiving; No donation day

Monday, Dec. 12
Last Donation Day of 2016

Friday, Dec. 16 – Monday, Jan. 2
Closed for the holidays. Office reopens Tuesday, Jan. 3

Monday, Jan. 9
First Donation Day of 2017

Our dedicated volunteers and staff will be spending the holidays with their loved ones, and we hope you have the opportunity to do the same. We wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year!

Career Center gets a makeover

Career Center gets a makeover

Out with the old, in with the new!

13912808_10154448007867220_8248860401199229415_n (1)This summer, Dress for Success Miami received a grant from Allegany Franciscan Ministries to update its Career Center technology and office equipment. Now our clients have the opportunity to learn the latest technology crucial to today’s job environment.

Eligible clients may now browse jobs online before or after their suiting sessions, or make an appointment to receive one-on-one for resume consultation, online job search guidance and interview practice with one of our great volunteers.

We are looking for more volunteers to commit to one or two shifts a month (typically a long lunch hour) at our Career Center. We are open to individual volunteers as well as corporate partners looking for employee volunteer opportunities. Please contact Angeline Evans at angeline@suitedforsuccess.org to learn more.

The grant also provided for computers, desks and other office supplies for our two new employees, who were hired in June thanks to an increase in our contract with the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency to assist with administrative support and community outreach. Thank you, Allegany Franciscan Ministries!

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with Dress for Success Miami and The Frieze Ice Cream Factory

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with Dress for Success Miami and The Frieze Ice Cream Factory

In honor of National Ice Cream Month this July, Dress for Success Miami and The Frieze Ice Cream Factory have teamed up to offer a unique, custom flavor called “Taste of Success.” The owners at The Frieze carefully crafted this flavor to symbolize the path our clients take when they receive the support of Dress for Success Miami. From the chocolate, vanilla, and coffee flavors symbolizing the diverse backgrounds of our clients, to the marshmallows and chocolate chunks representing the “rocky road” that our clients have taken, the Taste of Success

During the month of July, customers will have the opportunity to taste success while giving back to the women we serve. The Frieze Ice Cream Factory will donate 20% of each scoop of Taste of Success purchased back to Dress for Success Miami. The funds raised will go towards our clients’ employment skills training program.

Our goal is to serve up 2,500 scoops of Taste of Success ice cream in July, enabling us to help five women with our full employment skills training program and professional attire for their interview.

“When ice cream translates into to generosity, it’s a beautiful thing,” says Sonia Jacobson, founder and executive director of Dress for Success Miami. “I know that’s why people will come out to try our flavor and help us reach more than 2,500 scoops.”

On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, from 6-9 p.m., Dress for Success Miami’s Hispanic Community Ambassador, Chiquinquira Delgado, Venezuelan TV personality, model, actress and renowned designer, together with celebrity fitness guru and author Adriana Martin, will host a celebrity scoop event. The event will take place at The Frieze Ice Cream Factory at 1626 Michigan Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, and will be open to the public.

TOS Insta“It’s our way of saying thank you for the support and building additional momentum to raise even more awareness and funds for our organization,” continues Jacobson.

“I think the community will really enjoy the flavor profile we created with the Dress for Success Miami team for this month-long offer,” says Lisa Warren, owner of The Frieze Ice Cream Factory. “It’s a symbolic yet tasty combination. Events like this truly capture our desire to give back to the Miami community.”

Job-seeking veterans get a job search jump start with Suited for Success

Job-seeking veterans get a job search jump start with Suited for Success

Helping clients look appropriate for a job interview is just one part of what Suited for Success does. The other: preparing clients for the interview itself. Over the course of six weeks this spring, Suited for Success Executive Director Sonia Jacobson held an employment skills training program for veterans living at the Harding Village facility owned by Carrefour Supportive Housing.Over the course of the program, the veterans learned how to create a proper resume, how to answer questions on a job interview, and even experienced a mock interview to help them practice their new skills.

“The outcome and the program itself helped the veterans tremendously. It gave them confidence and showed them what to do in order to get employed,” says Gabriel Reyes, client services coordinator at Carrfour.

In addition to learning new skills, the veterans were treated to makeovers, courtesy of renowned hair stylist Javier Fonseca, a Suited for Success supporter.

Javi-Craig

Craig Bonn gets a makeover from Javier Fonseca. Bonn, a military veteran, holds a marine biology degree and is seeking employment as a teacher.

See more client makeovers on our Facebook page >

Army Veteran and client, Philip Ortiz, thriving in his new job

Army Veteran and client, Philip Ortiz, thriving in his new job

A common misconception among employers is that the skills learned in the military cannot be applied in the civilian work force. But U.S. Army veteran Philip Ortiz proves otherwise. His service from 1999 to 2003 was not only beneficial to him for personal reasons, but also for career-related ones.

When he originally got his current job, he did not think the skills he learned while deployed would be useful, but he draws on his military    experience daily in his interactions with hotel guests and colleagues. His current position as night auditor at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables brings together several of the skills he learned in the military — paying attention to detail, taking initiative, handling pressure — all so he can successfully do bookkeeping work and interact with hotel guests in order to meet their needs.

Another important aspect of his job is the first impression he makes on clients as they check into the hotel. He thanks Suited for Success for giving him the tools necessary to help him do his job.

“In terms of dress code, I have to look my best,” says Ortiz. “Suited for Success gave me nice clothes for the job interview. When I went a second time, they were able to supply me with the outfits I could wear throughout the week since I wear a suit and tie to work everyday.”

Experienced menswear specialist lends his talents to Suited for Success

Experienced menswear specialist lends his talents to Suited for Success

First impressions are everything in the workforce. Emilio Subil, a Menswear Specialist with over 40 years of experience, sees an extreme importance in dressing well to get the job.

He believes that the way you dress shows how you care for yourself. “If employers see that you care about yourself, it shows that you care about the job.”

The Cuban native has seen many people trying to get ahead in today’s market. He has known about the Suited for Success program for a while and began volunteering two months ago. As a personal shoppper, Subil has helped men who are looking for jobs ranging from janitors to stockbrokers. He has been able to give them the confidence needed by fitting them to an entire interview outfit: slacks, dress shirt, tie, jacket, and dress shoes. Subil truly enjoys helping others succeed, and he does just that every week at Suited for Success.

See one recent transformation that Subil helped create:

emilio suit before

    Before

emilio suit after

            After

Long time supporter talks about bridging the gap between the military and civilian workforce

Long time supporter talks about bridging the gap between the military and civilian workforce

At the young and thrilling age of 19, Lupe Casanova made a pivotal decision that set the direction for the rest of her life. The comedic performance of Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin and Casanova’s interest in gallivanting, along with the practical reason of educational benefits, prompted Casanova to make a bold move and join the military.  In her two active duty years in Germany and 21 years in the Army Reserves, Casanova has acquired three military occupational skills, created great memories in different parts of the world, and been inspired to help other veterans have a smooth transition into the civilian workforce through her work with Dress for Success Miami.

Casanova’s simultaneous experience in the military reserves and the civilian workforce, specifically the banking industry at Wells Fargo where she is the Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager of  Wells Fargo at Work program, has given her the knowledge necessary to help veterans as a military liaison to Dress for Success Miami. As a longtime supporter of more than 10 years for Dress for Success Miami and good friend of Sonia Jacobson, Casanova was a Board Member years ago and is excited to be involved with the organization again.

Lupe CasanovaThrough the years, she has seen many programs designed to help veterans transition to civilian life; however in her opinion, the majority of these programs do not give enough guidance, if any at all, when it comes to getting a job and civilian interviews. This gap in available employment support for veterans is one of the reasons that Dress for Success Miami stood out to her.

“Dress for Success Miami prepares [veterans] in how to dress, speak, create resumes, and what to expect,” says Casanova, who feels the program fills the gap.
Casanova asserts that Dress for Success Miami helps veterans realize how the skills they used in the military can be converted to practical and efficient skills in the civilian workforce. When she was involved in the Recruiter Retention and Commander program while in the Army Reserves, she gained people skills that could be applied to recruiter and sales positions in the job market. As a military liaison, Casanova looks forward to doing anything she can in order to help Dress for Success Miami advise the most highly disciplined and highly trained individuals on how to earn a place in the labor force.

Header photo: Casanova in her official military photo in 1981, when she first joined the Army, and in 2005 as a Master Sergeant. 

Florsheim partners with Suited for Success to celebrate new look

Florsheim partners with Suited for Success to celebrate new look

Long a staple of professionals around the world, Florsheim Shoes recently updated their Dadeland Mall flagship to showcase their classic and casual styles for the modern man. To celebrate their grand re-opening, Florsheim is accepting donations of gently worn dress shoes for Suited for Success and offering donors an additional 25% off their purchase. In addition, Florsheim will donate $3 for each pair of shoes received, up to a donation of $3,000, which will support our employment skills training program.

Thank you, Florsheim, for your support! Check out their new look and promotional flyer below:

20160425_101750 20160425_101735 IMG_20160425_112349

SS16-DadelandOpening-4x6Postcard

Calling all runners, joggers and walkers for 5K PARKfest

Calling all runners, joggers and walkers for 5K PARKfest

Get fit while giving back by joining the Dress for Success Miami / Suited for Success team for 5K PARKfest!

5K PARKfest is a one-of-a-kind event that gives back to your cause. Join us on beautiful Virginia Key Beach on Oct. 3 for a fun-filled day, culminating in a timed 5K run/jog/walk. Half of each registration fee goes directly to our cause.

You heard right: $20 of your $40 registration will go toward Dress for Success Miami/Suited for Success employment skills training programs.

Not a runner? Sign up and walk with us in the 2.5K walk.

Bring the whole family and enjoy the PARK mini run, Kids Play Zone, yoga & wellness activities, healthy food trucks, celebrity DJs, live music, raffles, giveaways and more!

Sign up and share today: http://www.5kparkfest.org/teamProfile.php?teamId=211

 

Team Spotlight - Dress for Success

 

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