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United Way Helps East San Diego County Students Dress For Success

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United Way Helps East San Diego County Students Dress For Success
United Way Helps East San Diego County Students Dress For Success
Students enrolled in Mount Miguel High School’s business academy are required to dress professionally — and the United Way is lending a hand.

Students enrolled in Mount Miguel High School’s Matador Business Academy are required to dress professionally every Monday. The academy’s underprivileged students received help from United Way so they too, can dress for success.

Academy marketing teacher James McFarland said when he became a working adult he had to learn how to dress.

“For my first few years as an actual college graduate I didn’t look right, I was sloppy,” McFarland said.

McFarland came from a family of shipbuilders near Belfast, Ireland. And like him, many of his students don’t come from families who dress for the business world.

“If you’re coming from a family where your family is wearing professional dress to work everyday, you get a better sense of what it means to be dressed professionally,” McFarland said.

No one innately knows how to dress professionally, McFarland said. It’s normal for kids to need a bit of coaching.

“Nice look, but you need to find a shirt that fits better around the neck,” McFarland said to a young man.

The United Way helped coordinate volunteers and donations from department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom.

Michele Predko from the United Way said the academy’s students have set high goals for themselves.

“These students are really dedicated to their futures,” Predko said. “And we want to help them reach their goals by making sure they have the necessary attire for job interviews, internships and so on.”

Another United Way representative, Adina Veen, said being dressed properly is a huge confidence boost.

“Dressing the part and feeling confident and professional when you step into an interview, or when you actually do an internship, then they can feel confident that they’re there to get a lot of great work done,” Veen said.

McFarland said his students aren’t putting on a uniform, they are learning to dress like the adults they are working to become.

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