On May 31, 2018, Dress for Success celebrated the 2018 Retail Jobs Trajectory (RJT) and LeadHERship Program Graduates at Etsy’s headquarters. Dress for Success collaborated with the Carnival Foundation and the Walmart Foundation to provide two new programs for employed women at Dress for Success seeking to advance in their careers. With a launching date of September 19, 2017, the women participated in six months of intensive professional development and training to increase economic stability and independence.
The Walmart Foundation’s Retail Jobs Trajectory Program focused on women employed in the retail sector that were looking to climb the career ladder. This program equips participants with confidence, motivation, and knowledge to move forward to pursue new opportunities within the retail sector for themselves and their families. The Carnival Foundation’s LeadHERship Program motivated the women to advance in their careers by enhancing their leadership skills and encouraging them to take risks in their occupations. The LeadHERship women were also paired with mentors from Carnival’s corporate offices who provided encouragement and motivation and offered real-time advice to mentees.
The Graduation’s Keynote Speaker was Natalie Borneo, a Risk and Compliance Professional at Wells Fargo with over 30 years of experience in that industry. She offered the graduates advice and encouragement saying, “We’re all gifted but we’re gifted differently. You need to take hold of your gifts and use them for your purpose.” She also gave the graduates guidance to succeed in work and in life, “accept yourself, bring your best self to every situation, know your boundaries, and be selective in what you accept and who you accept.”
Dress for Success and CEO Joi Gordon congratulated each RJT and LeadHERship graduate and underscored their impact on others saying, “Trust me, you are making a difference in other people’s lives because your light shines bright. Because your light shines bright, you light the path for others to follow.”
A special thank you to our program sponsors, the Carnival Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, and to those who made this event possible, Etsy for the beautiful location, DJ Vonnie Mack for the amazing music, and photographer Alyssa Peek for capturing all of the graduation’s special moments.