Helping dress for success

collenge tag 2

Besides a degree what else should a student have when going to an interview? It’s not a masters

or a cover letter even though those are important. The answer; a professional wardrobe. People attend college to earn a degree and find a position in a career field that will suit them for the rest of their lives. Get it? Suit them? As students, some lack the ability to afford food or pay bills let alone have a business professional wardrobe.


Northwestern has made a fundraiser in relief for those students who do not have the luxury of owning lots of business attire. “Teachers Closet,” provides professional wardrobe help to students.


Two professors, two brains and one idea created Teachers Closet. Dr. Jennifer Oswald, assistant professor of education, and Dr. Jennifer Page, assistant professor of English, came about the idea last April.


“It takes a special kind of person to work with, and having Dr. Page and I working together.” Oswald said jokingly, “We could just rule the world.” When they got all the ground work done and got it announced to the public, which had a great response from the community Oswald said.


The idea started out meant just being for student-teachers who are beginning their transition from a student to a full-time teacher. This transition can be tough with teacher observations and the required testing all teachers go through before being certified and licensed.


The amount of donations Teachers Closet has received made Oswald and Page so overwhelmed with joy, Oswald said. They started with two closets one for each men and women and the other for business attire accessories such as, ties, belts, shoes, etc. Eventually will expand to a third closet due to the amount of donations they keep receiving.


Page and Oswald have emphasized their want to expand t o a third closet. The third closet will be used for the extra clothes for both men and women. As long as they keep the program pushing, the more donations they could receive and the program will continue to grow.

“Yes we do a lot of work, but it is made possible by the people in the community by the consistent donations,” Oswald said. Neighbors, people at Wal-Mart and even at her kid’s school people have given Oswald clothes to donate to the closet she said. 30 to 40 percent of the clothes and accessories Teachers Closet has received is from current and retired teachers Oswald said.


Not just the community, but Northwestern staff as joined in the on the effort, because they understand what the struggle of a college student is. The goal for Teachers Closet is to make an impact on the students involved and any other community members in need of help Oswald said.

The Alva community has shown their willingness to help and the “closet” is evidence of that.