Two years ago we were contacted by Barath Raman, an attorney at Lewis Wagner LLP, with the proposal that we assist in a new initiative to provide suits to college bound graduating seniors who did not have the resources to obtain on their own. The program’s goal was to provide at-risk, economically disadvantaged college-bound students with the needed professional attire for career fairs, job interviews, and internships and to provide them with professional development support.
Along with his associate, Alexandra (Alex) Blackwell, a law clerk for the Indiana Court of Appeals, Raman asked for donated suits from IndyBar Members to help fill the void for talented young men and women who need dress clothing but don’t have the resources to obtain them. After securing the donations, Classic Cleaners was asked for assistance to clean the suits prior to presenting them to the recipients.
It was a new and exciting concept and after learning more about the initiative, we were more then happy to donate our cleaning services to the college bound, well deserving graduates.
After the donated suits were altered and tailored by Men’s Warehouse, they were dropped off at our Lockerbie location in downtown Indianapolis and we brought them the plant to be cleaned and pressed and looking like new for 18 well deserving college students.
“These kids have overcome many hardships to go to college and their talent and achievements should be recognized. They will need suits in college for career fairs, interviews, internships, or even for formal dances; and we’re going to provide them their professional attire,” Suited Up Co-Founder Barath Raman said when asked to describe the impact of the Suited Up program.*
The newly tailored and cleaned suits were presented to the students at the annual end of the year event on May 10, 2017 at the IndyBar, hosted by The Indianapolis Bar Association and partnering with Starfish Initiative. At this second annual Suited Up “Senior Send-Off” event, students not not only received their suits; the Law Student division of IndyBar presented on business etiquette and tips on how to succeed in college.
Now planning for their third year, The Suited Up program is is once again collaborating with Classic Cleaners, Men’s Wearhouse, Hogan Transfer & Storage Corp. and the Indianapolis legal community.
Starfish Initiative is a mentoring program that works to inspire, encourage, and prepare academically promising, economically disadvantaged high school students for college and career success.
“Starfish Initiative is so thankful for the partnership with the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Suited Up program. One-hundred percent of the students in our program are low income, so the opportunity for them to own nice dress clothes like this would not be possible if it weren’t for Suited Up. Watching our students try on their new suits and seeing not only their excitement, but also the change in their overall self-confidence was priceless,” said Starfish Initiative Match Specialist Jordan Byrd.*
For more information on Starfish and how you can help, visit starfishinitiative.org.
View a more extensive write up on the Suited Up Program, IndyBar and the Starfish Initiative, please reference theIndianaLawyer.com article here. *Quoted content and photos in this blog post are original to the article referenced.