Donna’s journey has been one with many trials and tribulations. She grew up in a rough neighborhood known as NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen and has seen hardships since her childhood years. Although her parents’ lives were troubled, they nevertheless strove to instill values of education and its importance to Donna and her siblings. Donna has experienced her fair share of crises. After taking her children and leaving her abusive husband, Donna moved back in with her parents and eventually quit her job to take care of her very ill father. During his last moments, Donna remembered how proud of her he was because he truly believed that raising two children as a single mom took courage. She had a close brush with death during a sudden brain aneurysm and relied on the moral and emotional support of the women here at Dress for Success to help her get through it. Because of this second chance at life and the encouragement of many of the women at Dress for Success, Donna believes she was given an extended family and became part of a sisterhood.
Initially, Donna found Dress for Success with the advice of a counselor while at she was at the library trying to find second hand clothing for her interview. She has since participated in numerous programs, many of them by our corporate sponsors. The seminars taught her and gave her guidance in resume writing and financial literacy, boosted her self-confidence and got her interview ready, both physically and mentally. During her first suiting, Donna even broke out in tears, describing the women of Dress for Success as her “little angels”. This was truly a touching moment for her because she finally felt confident to go out there and seize the opportunities in store for her. She is grateful to Dress for Success for her newfound confidence and for her ability to stand up for herself once again. To Donna, Success is “confidence, courage and independence. Taking charge of one’s life. Trusting everlasting friendships and sisterhood.”
Today, Donna is using the skills and knowledge she acquired at Dress for Success to seek a promotion at her current position. Additionally, she is working on her goal of saving for a car as well as a comfortable retirement. She is also a very devout believer of the idea that women can and should empower other women. Thus, she still participates in Dress for Success programs and does all she can to encourage others around her to strive for their goals. She has been a mentor as well as a volunteer for clothing donations here at Dress for Success. Donna has spread the word about the Buy One, Get One, Give One Vanity Fair Bra campaign and encouraged all of the women she knows to participate in that program.