FVTC grant program helps students find clothes and confidence

APPLETON- A program at Fox Valley Technical College is making a difference. The program provides GED students with what they need to land a job. That includes shopping for a new set of clothes.

Vicki Mitchell and a dozen of her classmates made a special trip to Kohl’s Friday; the first step towards discovering a new sense of self.

“We are bringing a bunch of students in to go shopping to upgrade their wardrobe for job interviews,” said Chuck Wachter, with Fox Valley Technical College.

“It’s very exciting,” said student Vicki Mitchell.

These Fox Valley Tech GED students are in the first ever Removing Barriers grant program, funded through the J.J. Keller foundation.

People who need just a little extra help reaching their success.

“There are all sorts of barriers that they are facing and this grant really targets that barrier,” said Wachter.

As she browsed the racks, Mitchell told us her story.

“I was a teenage mom. Single mom, never got my high school diploma. My sister was big on going to school, got me to go back to school. I figured I’m just tired of working the minimum wage jobs and I want more now,” said Mitchell.

“When was the last time that you went shopping for clothes by yourself?” FOX 11’s Kelly Schlicht asked Mitchell.

“For me, it’s probably been over five years, yeah, especially for interview clothes,” she responded.

These students aren’t just finding a new set of clothes. They’re also finding their confidence

“With all the support that’s been given, with this program and other programs, I cannot fail,” said Mitchell.

The ladies assembled their business outfits.

“Ok, so let’s go find some scarves,” Mitchell told her friend Lynn, as both women carried several hangers of clothes.

Then, it was time for the big reveal.

“I feel like I could go for a job interview right now and get the job. I really do,” said Mitchell.

With one barrier removed, Mitchell says she’s ready to take on the work world with her new friends by her side.

Fox Valley Technical College says the J.J. Keller Foundation has agreed to fund the program next year as well.

 

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