DFS: What drew you to Dress for Success and why did you want to be part of the organization?
AF: During my tenure as President of David Meister , we dressed the annual award recipients for their Gala. That priceless opportunity to learn about them as I wardrobed them was such a special experience that I wanted to help even more women.
DFS: Can you describe the specific volunteer work you do at DFS?
AF: As a Fashion Executive the wardrobing experience is easy and fun. As a Career Counselor, I enjoy challenging and coaching the client towards understanding what her resume means, what the job requires, and how she can most succinctly show her qualifications through an interview.
DFS: Tell us a story of a client you served that stands out in your mind and that you are especially proud of? How did she impact you?
AF: I am lucky to have so many beautiful stories but the first one was particularly moving. I worked with a young lady and we discussed the gaps in her resume. She volunteered that the father of her daughter lived in NYC so she came here so that they could have a relationship and therefore had to give up her job in another state. I suggested that since that information is personal instead of sharing those details in an interview she should say she needed to move to NYC for family reasons. We spent more time together and later was questioned by one of the Dress for Success executives. I watched as she responded to their question of why she moved to NYC without a job. She calmly explained that she moved to NYC for family. She looked over to me and smiled proudly and confidently. I was so very proud of her and she knew it as I exchanged her warm smile.
DFS: Describe some of the feelings you have when you are working with a client and seeing that transformation first hand.
AF: The first and most important step is when she trusts me and looks to me for advice. This begins as a dialogue about a suit selection and moves from that to her employment concerns. Her entrusting me for advice is a priceless gift but the session ends with her actually thanking me. I often feel that I am the one to give thanks.
DFS: What is the best part of being associated with DFS?
AF: The clients!!! I am so lucky to meet them and hopefully help steer them towards a better life.
DFS: How has Dress for Success impacted your life?
AF: Wow…. Well the experience of giving is priceless.
DFS: Do you feel you are making an impact by volunteering at DFS? How?
AF: I know I am making an impact. Clients thanks me not only for helping them but making them feel special and important.
DFS: What is your best advice to give to other volunteers?
AF: Don’t forget that we are one with these ladies. Life can always throw us a curve ball and we would be in their shoes.