Dress for Success had a sale that took place April 6 from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. The sale was aided by a student group that calls themselves the Blazers.
The Blazers sold professional tops and bottoms for $5 each along with other clothing items like jewelry, shoes and jackets in order to help women in the greater Fargo-Moorhead area achieve economic independence.
The North Dakota State College of Business class, Leadership in Organization (MGMT 430) has a requirement to raise $1,000 working with a not-for-profit organization to help fulfill some of the needs of that organization.
The Blazers first decided to partner with the Fargo organization Dress for Success Red River Valley. They then decided on their name (Blazers) because Dress for Success takes donations for professional clothes like blazers and gives them to local women entering the workforce.
The Blazers consist of the instructor for the course, Professor Tim O. Peterson, as well as five students from the class. Alex Haaland, Torie Jones, Makayla Peterson, Dana Riepe and Bri Ufford formed this team based on qualities that they found after taking the Gallup Strengths Test.
“I think what made them want to do it was understanding the need for women to come out of domestic violence and that are now trying to get their feet back on the ground,” Peterson said.
Peterson said the group is looking to sell as much as they can to buy medical clothing for women going into those fields.
“They clearly saw that there was a need, and when they met with the people with Dress for Success many of them said that these women could get jobs in the medical field, they just needed scrubs and other medical clothing,” Peterson said.
Rhonda Peterson, the program assistant for Dress for Success, said they partner with 63 referral agencies around town.
“The women that come to us are struggling financially, and they are just trying to get back into the workplace, so we will do resume critiques. We have a little career center over here,” Rhonda Peterson said. “Ladies can come in twice. They can come and get an interview outfit, and they can get employment suiting once they get hired.”
Amanda Even, the program director, said their organization works with area colleges, particularly Minnesota State-Moorhead because they have a high population of students that are “untraditional.”
“Our client base is so diverse. Age range, ethnicity and education level,” Even said. “North Dakota has the lowest unemployment in the nation, so sometimes people look at our program and say, ‘Is this really necessary? I mean, you don’t have much for an unemployment rate,’ But the actuality is you might have a job, but that doesn’t mean that you can pay for your family to live.”
Members of the Blazers estimated that there are about eight groups of five students from Peterson’s class all working with different community organizations in the area.