There is a gap between 5 million talented, resilient, motivated would-be professionals, and 12 million jobs currently needing qualified candidates. This is called the Opportunity Divide. And Year Up is closing it.
With branches all over the country, Year Up’s participants (ages 18-24) engage in a hands-on, rigorous, one-year program, arming them with technical skills, business savvy senses, and the opportunity to show they do belong in meaningful careers. Year Up also works to change policy surrounding the hurdles of socioeconomic status and education opportunities that their participants face.
Year Up’s mission is one that we, at Gwynnie Bee, deeply connect with. We provide all women access to unlimited workwear options that allow them to feel confident yet stylish, while they achieve their professional goals.
On July 30th, we were honored to hold an event for the current class at Year Up, who are embarking on their internships at Fortune 100 companies like JPMorgan Chase, Amazon, and Facebook.
To celebrate this new chapter for the current Year Up class, we provided tips on how to dress for the job, donated over 100 pieces of professional attire, and offered first day of work gift bags, filled with notebooks, pens, water bottles, and more.
Jessica Dvorett, VP Merchandising at Gwynnie Bee, kicked off the event with a speech on taking style risks in the office. She even wore her own first-day-of-work outfit, which pushed her out of her comfort zone. Her look was created after she won a personal styling session at an auction, and her stylist challenged her to put together an outfit that didn’t include black or navy.
To help the participants further bring their style into the workplace, Melanie Bader and Patrice Kivlighan, Buyers at Gwynnie Bee, presented five tips on nailing office attire. After discussing the importance of fit, clean tucks, and print balances, the students were invited to style a few outfits of their own.
The event wrapped in a lively meet-and-greet, with students networking, continuing to talk about office style, and their upcoming internships. Echoing the advice of Bria, a member of the current class, “Know that wherever you are, and whoever you meet, you belong in that conversation and that space.”
You can watch highlights from the event in this video below, and be sure to check back here on the blog for more on our exciting partnership with Year Up. You can find them at https://www.yearup.org/ to donate and get involved.