Interviews are hard. I remember my first interview, and it was terrifying. My palms were sweaty, my voice was shaky and my heart was pounding in my chest. First-time interviews can be nerve wracking; there are many things to be worried about, but occupation-appropriate attire should not be one of them. This is why Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU), the Southwestern Union, our local conferences, and Adventist Community Services (ACS) have partnered together to launch “The Success Closet” at SWAU, with the mission of providing young professionals in need the wardrobe to dress for success.
We saw a need at SWAU, with many of our students not having the financial resources to purchase professional attire for interviews or for their first jobs. Then we began to realize that this need was not only limited to our campus, but the need exists in our local community.
“The Success Closet” will be open Sept. 20-23, 2021, which is the week just prior to SWAU’s Annual Path Expo Career Fair. “The Success Closet” will be open to SWAU students, local community college students and the community. Interim President Ana Patterson is excited about this new initiative.
“Having access to professional attire provides a young adult with the confidence they need to pursue new career opportunities. We are looking forward to hosting ‘The Success Closet’ on campus and believe that this initiative serves not only the needs of our students but also our extended community,” says Patterson.
“The Success Closet” is not a private initiative; numerous local entities are teaming up to make this a community project. Helvis Moody, youth and young adult director for the Southwestern Union, shares his enthusiasm and support of the project: “The young adult department is encouraging all who are able to participate to do so! It’s exciting to see that a plan has been put in place to support young adults getting ready for life outside of the university setting.”
Marshall Gonzales, director of Texas ACS says, “Our goal at Texas Adventist Community Services is to follow Jesus by being in the community and providing for those who are in need. This initiative has been a God-inspired dream of mine for some time, and I am glad to see it come to fruition.”
Adventist Community Services is currently accepting donations of new or like-new professional clothing for “The Success Closet.” Specifically, they are collecting dress slacks, dress shirts, professional blouses, men’s and women’s blazers, suits and dress shoes.
All are invited to participate in this ministry and can mail donations to: P.O. Box 35, Keene, Tex., 76059, or send packages to Southwestern Adventist University to the attention of Austen Powell at 100 West Hillcrest Street, Keene, Tex., 76059.