Image makeovers get clients ‘Back on Track’
By Kelly Armstrong & R.F. Hosseini
More than a dozen of Goodwill’s Back on Track clients gamely offered up their bodies for higher learning and came away with full-scale makeovers in return.
Students from Community College of San Francisco’s Advanced Image Consulting class were given three months to complete image makeover presentations, which required them to apply lessons involving image assessments, analyzing body types, color analysis, fashion personalities and wardrobe planning.
The Back on Track clients — who undergo job readiness and life skills workshops as Goodwill helps them reestablish themselves following non-violent, first-time drug arrests — allowed themselves to be the canvasses on which the CCSF students’ project unfolded.
Twenty-one students were charged with providing three looks — business, causal and evening attire — that will assist the clients in job interviews, social gatherings and special occasions.
Throughout the project, students would check in weekly with their instructor to touch base on the challenges they were facing, like scheduling issues, missed appointments, and clients not having emails or phones. After hearing the students’ concerns, the instructor would contact Goodwill staff specialists to resolve the issues.
Ultimately, each image makeover presented during a May 14 ceremony at SF Goodwill was a testament to the collaboration that went on, resulting in proud and grateful smiles for both students and clients.
“When you are getting a second chance, like Back on Track, this chance is not only being given to you but also to your kids, for you are now representing them and working for their future,” reflected Hugo Ortiz, an alumni of the Back on Track program. During the ceremony, Ortiz shared a Native American saying with the audience that inspired him: “It is good to have thunder in your voice, but it is 10 times better to have lighting in your hand and use it.”
BOT clients showed up wearing their business attire and modeled for an audience that included city college students, Goodwill clients, staff and a special visit from San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, whose office partners with Goodwill on the Back on Track program. Gascon’s office provided a $100 Goodwill Voucher for each student to shop for their client at any Goodwill store and a $25 Ross gift certificate.
“The partnership between CCSF and BOT has produced an amazing experience that will be forever valued by the BOT participants, said Ranon Ross, director of Back on Track in the DA’s office.
Kelly Armstrong, instructor of the Advanced Image Consulting class, made sure representatives from the DA’s office and Goodwill were treated to makeovers during the ceremony “so they can understand the process their clients go through.”
Ross, criminal justice and reentry manager Joanna Hernandez, human resources director Rosa Della Casa, and staff specialists Sonia Worley, Isabel Perez and Marie-Claire Balea all received makeovers.
Jackie Wright of Wright Enterprises was also acknowledged during the ceremony for her participation with the Advanced Image Consulting students during the project. She was presented a certificate for teaching students how to write press releases and other media skills that culminated in a press release writing contest where the winner was featured in the CCSF newsletter City Currents.
“I’m so deeply honored that I was acknowledged by City College, Goodwill and the DA’s office because they are doing work that impact people’s lives when they need it most,” Wright said. “I know what it is like to face challenges as a young person, having both my parents die at a young age and having to grow up quickly raising my siblings and my daughter as a divorcee.”
“I’m so grateful to Ms. Wright for teaching us about the media and how to write a press release,” said Victoria Lau, one of the contest winners.
For more information, contact Kelly Armstrong at (415) 585-2412 or email@example.com.
Goodwill Industries International enhances the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work.
Back on Track was created in 2003 by District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. It is a unique public-private initiative focused on offering workforce development alternatives, educational opportunities and support services for young adult drug sales offenders who have pled guilty to a felony and would otherwise face incarceration if not enrolled in this program. BOT helps qualifying offenders successfully move out of the criminal justice system as they gain life and workplace skills, maintain steady employment, make contributions to their local communities, decrease dependence on the street economy, and meet their parental responsibilities.
Advanced Image Consulting provides knowledge and skills in the preparation of becoming an Image Consultant. Emphasis is placed on techniques of wardrobe planning and consultation, public relations, marketing and business operation for starting an image consulting business.