Black Male Achievers Receive New Suits for STLCC’s Career Fair
Brandon Johnson rented a suit once, for his prom at Riverview Gardens High School in north St. Louis County. He thought he looked pretty good going to the dance.
Now, thanks to the generosity of the Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis Inc.’s Save our Sons program, he has a brand new suit of his own. And, yes, he feels great.
“I feel like I’m a different person,” he said, wearing his grey suit, light pink shirt and rose tie. “I came in and it was just like another day. Now I feel like a new man.”
Johnson, a first-year student in the mechanical engineering program, is a member of the Black Male Achievers program at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park. Along with 12 other members of BMA – both men and women – he went to the Student Center’s cafeteria dressed in his normal school clothes. They all left with outfits appropriate to wear to St. Louis Community College’s Fall 2022 Career Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
The College’s Career Fair has 53 companies and organizations scheduled to speak with STLCC students and other members of the community. The businesses include some of the nation’s largest companies such as Amazon, BJC HealthCare, PepsiCo and Target. However, there are entities of all sizes seeking new employees and the outfits the students received allow them to put their best foot forward.
“It’s life changing because it instills confidence that if you believe in who you are, you can take on the world,” said Mysha Clincy, coordinator of student retention programs at STLCC and lead for the BMA program. “That’s what it gives them – it gives them the possibility of who they can become.”
Clincy is pictured here with the students in the BMA program at Forest Park.
The BMA program is designed to increase enrollment, retention and graduation of underprepared students, both male and female. This free program is offered at STLCC’s Forest Park and Florissant Valley campuses.
KSDK captured the Forest Park students looking sharp in their new interview attire Friday, Oct. 14.
Students in the BMA program at Florissant Valley received suits Tuesday, just in time for the College's Career Fair.
The Urban League, a nonprofit organization that provides numerous social services to the community, operates the Save Our Sons program. Tydrell Stevens, regional director for Save Our Sons, said the partnership between his organization and the College couldn’t have been a better fit.
“It’s very valuable when you look at our partnership with St. Louis Community College,” he said. “Working together on the workforce training program, Black Male Achievers and others, we are able to break down so many different barriers. We want to be able to do whatever we can to ensure the students get the attire and the things they need to get to the next level.”
The program provided BMA students with everything they needed, from head to toe, free of charge: shirts, ties, belts, shoes, and even cufflinks.
After getting his new suit, Johnson said he was ready to start his path to a new career. It put him in a frame of mind that anything is possible.
“It’s very important to me. This is a great opportunity,” he said. “This is unbelievable and it’s really awesome we get a free suit for the interviews.”