Check it out!! This is a video recap of the AWESOME Suiting we had with Project Stand at GW Carver College and Career Academy. It was our PLEASURE to work with each of these men and their mentors to help equip and empower them as they work to improve their lives.
Each Sunday, cityCURRENT president, Jeremy C. Park, spotlights organizations and individuals who are making a difference in the Mid-South and easy ways to get involved and help their efforts in his week "Giving Back" column in The Commercial Appeal (Metro section). We are so thankful that Jeremy chose to feature Memphis Suit Project in last week's issue.
Memphis Suit Project is Helping Men Get Job-Ready
First impressions matter, especially when attempting to get a job. Looking sharp on an interview often plays an important role in whether someone ultimately is offered a job. Memphis Suit Project helps men clear that hurdle.
Memphis Suit Project works with men as early as seniors in high school, with a high percentage age 16 to 24 and either not in school or unemployed. The organization provides a suit, shirt, tie, belt, socks and shoes to about 20 men per month.
Memphis Suit Project started out in 2013 using a donated suit model. A partnership with New York Suit Exchange then gave the organization a special deal on suits, shirts, ties, belts, socks and shoes. So now men look sharp from head to toe in their new, stylish items that have them ready for a job interview.
“We know that when you look good and feel good about yourself you carry yourself differently,” said Meghan Heimke, executive director of Memphis Suit Project. “We’re all about helping to remove that barrier so they have confidence.”
Memphis Suit Project partners with a variety of local organizations to connect....
Have you ever given a presentation? Can you clap and cheer? Have you ever conducted an interview? Can you tie a tie? Have you ever been complimented on your handshake? Are you willing to just show up?
If you are looking for an opportunity to give back to your community...
HERE'S YOUR CHANCE.
Together with Strategic Financial Partners, Memphis Suit Project is thrilled to partner with the University of Memphis PAWS program, which works to ensure their student-athletes are prepared for life after sport.
Here are the volunteer opportunities for the U of M PAWS Recipients:
March 19 & 22 from 10 am- 12 pm (approximately 1.5 hours)
- Get to know the recipients and build report
- Explain the importance of a first impression
- Assist in Suit Fitting by New York Suit Exchange
March 29 at 7 pm (approximately 1.5 hours)
- Assist in presentation skills coaching/training
- Assist recipients in shooting and editing their videos
April 12 at 6:30 pm (approximately 2 hours)
- Assist recipients in getting dressed (ties, buttons, removing tags, etc)
- Reminders of proper care of the suit
- Cheer and loudly celebrate recipients during the Gifting Event
Only 11.7% of African American male students graduate within a four-year period from the University of Memphis. This number has increased every year, but continued improvement in retention rates is vital to student success.
The Hooks African American Male Initiative (HAAMI) is working to improve retention rates and we want to help! Memphis Suit Project recently partnered with HAAMI to suit 11 of their students as part of their career development program.
"...In order to take care of the community I must take proper care of myself." -Recipient Kyle S. Bledsoe
"Having a suit gives men a feeling like no other....Young men want to be heard and suit allows people to listen." - Recipient Lloyd Goodman
"My professional development, the sharing of my gifts and redefining what it means to be successful in my black community are all ultimately my visions that can all sprout from just one suit." - Recipient Justin H. Childress
"For me, this is not just a new suit- but my only suit- because I recently moved to the United States and did not have many clothes to bring with me. Growing up in my country, I never had the opportunity to have a new suit that had only belonged to me. Currently, I have one pair of dress pants that are now too tight and wearing them is distracting and somewhat embarrassing. Being involved in this program (HAAMI), I realize how limiting it is to not have the proper attire to wear when attending formal events. Yesterday when I went for my measurements, it was exciting and validating to know that I would be receiving a suit made just for me. More importantly, because I have this suit, I now have the chance to participate in any professional event or opportunity that will come my way." - Recipient Leedon Morgan
"This suit will reveal the power beneath me by allowing me to make an impression on the person that will potentially interview me for the job that God has planned for me. I will name this suit 'the go get that JOB suit.' I would like to once again show my gratitude in accepting this gift as an honor to wear it with my head held high, and to wear it with the pride and dignity." - Recipient George Burton
More about HAAMI:
HAAMI focuses on improving the retention and graduation rates of African American males attending the University of Memphis by enriching each students' academic, personal, and social development.
In monthly group sessions, HAAMI participants learn career, personal, and life skills from university faculty and staff as well as business leaders. Session presentations include topics such as university support resources, mental health, student loan debt, internship, professional etiquette, and job readiness. Mentoring and individual coaching, special events, and peer fellowship and support are additional components of HAAMI.
Targeting Social Disparities:
Hooks Institute programs provide direct interventions to help eliminate racial, health, and socioeconomic disparities in the Mid-South. Best practices identified through our efforts are disseminated for replication throughout the nation.
More info about HAAMI: http://www.memphis.edu/benhooks/programs/haami.php
Voting in July and August was the closest ever, but a late surge made Delta Streets Academy (DSA) in Greenwood, Miss., the overall winner in 2017 Hope Awards for Effective Compassion. By earning the most votes, DSA receives a grand prize of $15,000!
Congratulations T.Mac and the men of DSA- we are thrilled for you!!
The August 10 Redbirds game against the Omaha Storm Chasers was a first for many of us. It was the first time for Memphis Suit Project to be featured as the Lipscomb & Pitts Nonprofit of the Game. It was also the first baseball game that Kyron Martin, a junior at Hamilton High School and a student recipient from Memphis Athletic Ministries, ever attended a baseball game.
And to keep with the trend of "firsts," Kyron was given the honor to throw out the first pitch of the game!
Kyron and 20 of his peers recently received a brand new suit, shirt, tie, belt, socks and shoes from Memphis Suit Project. Through MAM’s Career Readiness Program, Kyron is learning what it takes to be successful in the workplace and says that the suit the received from Memphis Suit Project gives him confidence and credibility as he interviews for employment. Memphis Suit Project is proud of Kyron and his efforts to improve his life through education and employment and is thrilled that he represented the organization so well!
This weekend, we had the privilege of meeting and fitting men across the City of Memphis who are participating in Mayor Strickland's Manhood University program. It's a five week soft skills training program that aims to prepare men ages 16-29 for employment. The men will have the opportunity to put those skills to use at the upcoming My Brother's Keeper Job Fair on June 22.
Thanks to our favorite Memphis Grizzlies player and hometown hero, Mike Conley Jr., the graduates of Mayor Strickland's Manhood University will look the part at the MBK Job Fair in their BRAND NEW suits, shirts, ties, belts, socks and shoes from New York Suit Exchange.
It’s back to school in Tennessee, but not for the kids.
The state passed a bill that would fund two years of community college or technical school for “older adults” for free. The program is called Tennessee Reconnect, and it’s a last dollar program, which means that the state will cover all tuition and fees after grants and scholarships have been applied.
But who counts as “older adults?”
Luckily, almost everyone. The age requirement for an older adult is over 24 years old.
That’s because Tennessee Reconnect is meant to pick up where another program, Tennessee Promise, leaves off.
MAM’s mission is to help build godly youth in under-resourced neighborhoods by teaching them to love God, love others and love themselves. Our vision is to develop youth into Christ-centered, productive adults, positively impacting their families and neighborhoods.
MAM provides year- round, Christ-centered mentoring programs with well-trained staff to youth, ages 8 to 18, through eight centers in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This is done in partnership with families, schools and other community organizations.
Our solution includes:
1) attracting participation by using organized sports to draw at-risk neighborhood youth to MAM centers.
2) creating a nurturing environment through small mentoring groups led by MAM staffat each neighborhood center to share the love of Jesus Christ and foster healthy relationships.
3) providing comprehensive programsthataddress the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of youth.
4) promoting community involvement by organizing community-wide sports activities throughout Shelby County in order to bring about socio-economic and racial reconciliation.
MAM works tirelessly to develop Memphis inner city youth into a generation of spiritually strong, productive adults and they invite you to join them in their quest. Whether you are able to give, volunteer or pray, there are many ways to get involved and make an impact. Check them out here: