Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2017 – Volunteering with style

Name: Dana Vernot
From: Lake Worth, Florida
Grade: high school graduate
School: Palm Beach State College
Votes: 14

I live to give. I realized this after graduating from Palm Beach Central High school
(and it was no longer a requirement). I hunted for volunteer
opportunities at Palm Beach State College. I’m also, a fashionista to
the core. My favorite volunteer opportunities happen to be the
occasions when I could combine the two. I graduated with 300+
volunteer hours because the public charter school (The Villages
Charter middle and high school) I attended previously required 500
for graduation. After transferring to a public school (Palm Beach
Central High school) I was only required 20, yet the passion
continued.


I love clothing people with a smile and style. My ultimate favorite
volunteer Opportunities so happen to be in thrift stores. Initially,
my first occasion volunteering for a thrift store was for Habitat for
Humanity for my mom, sister and I to qualify for a home. Next, I was
a part of running Panther’s Closet which is the on campus thrift
store at PBSC. I implemented ideas on stock room organization, sales
floor layouts, merchandising, and provide customer service. Being a
part of the Dr.Floyd F. Koch’s Honors College is a requirement to
work at the store since the proceeds from the store go to help fund
the honors college. I recognized that the store was simply missing
some publicity. I decided to collaborate with the cosmetology
department, Resource Depot, faculty and Phi-Beta Lambda to host a
Fashion Revolution fashion show. My goal was to advocate for
sustainability in the fashion industry and educate our student body
and the general public on their consumer power to make a difference.
The admission to the show was a bag of clothes donated to Panther’s
Closet. Coordinating the show had to be the most stressful yet
heartwarming experience ever. It was incredible to see every model
and guest enthusiastic to contribute their talents. One of the
largest challenges had to be, keeping up with my school workload and
my part time job. I have learned that with a little faith and an
abundance of passion anything is possible. I have to say I am
happiest when I’m helping.

Looking back at this experience, I would’ve done it all over again. It was just
magical to start something and leave behind a legacy at my school.
Years from now I will participate in an ethical fashion industry and
will have influenced the way retailers manufacture clothes
permanently. It doesn’t stop here though. There are garment
factory workers rights that need to fight for and 8 tons of textile
waste being generated by the average American. I fully intend to
partner with the sustainability waste authority in my community to
start a textile recycling program. Our future has to be more
sustainable in all industries. Forward looking means to assess and
thoroughly inspect the present and compare it to the future to
observe changes that are necessary. Doing well not only feels good
but it leads to more good.


Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".