The staff of Ross Medical Education Center in Lansing, Michigan continually brainstorms for innovative ways to help Ross students and the Greater Lansing Community. This March, a conversation between Campus Director Sandy Dargatz and Shari Brooks of Lansing’s Career Development Services Department was the inspiration behind a simple, yet creative way to help not only Ross students, but women throughout the community who are seeking employment: a Professional Accessory Drive.
Sandy Dargatz was eager to get started, “empowering women in our community to reach their goals is at the center of everything that we hold dear to our hearts at the Lansing campus. By providing local women with the finishing touches to enhance their professional presence during interviews, we help ensure that our community is strong and prepared!”
Debbie Majinska, Lansing’s morning Office Assistant, provided a lighted birch tree that became a focal point in the campus entry area, and the drive was officially underway! Staff, faculty members, and students were asked to bring in jewelry that they no longer used and donate it. Students could take any pieces they felt they might use for their future interviewing process. Items that were not given to students were then donated to the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing.
As the drive began, several necklaces, pairs of earrings, and bracelets adorned the tree. Donations then expanded to include new make-up and perfume. As the drive wrapped up at the end of the month, the tree was laden with so much jewelry that, at one point, it tipped over! Sandy Dargatz, Shari Brooks, and Melissa Graves (also a member of Lansing’s Career Development team) patiently matched the jewelry and bagged each set separately.
Shari Brooks then scheduled a Career Services presentation to be facilitated by Cindie Alwood, Executive Director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. Cindie agreed to speak with the Lansing campus about dressing for interview success, overcoming nerves, and community resources available to maintain career success. Upon completion of her presentation, Cindie was presented with a token of everyone’s support and appreciation – over fifty pieces of donated jewelry!
Women’s Center of Greater Lansing opened in 2005. Their website states they are “dedicated to helping women realize their potential, support each other, achieve economic self-sufficiency, and develop emotional and physical well-being, regardless of income level.” Their services include “career counseling and resume preparation, individual counseling, and a wide variety of support groups and workshops.” Over the years, many students from Ross Medical Education Center of Lansing have been provided with business attire from the Women’s Center for interviewing at externship sites – allowing them to feel confident and look their professional best.
If you would like information on how you can help the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing by volunteering or with a donation, or if you know a woman who is in need of assistance, please call the center at 517-372-9163 or email them at email@example.com. Their website reminds each and every one of us: “Women hold up half the sky. We are all in this together. Let us work together to create a thriving, sustainable organization that supports ALL members of this community.”