Penn Station: A new resource for students who need to dress to impress

Officially open: Penn Station ribbon-cutting participants included (from left) Eric Thompson, Lesha Gregory, Chancellor Kimberly Beatty, campus President Tyjaun Lee, Sonya Thomas and Chelsia Potts. (Photos by Clay Bussey, Tim Engle and Lisa Kalell, MCC)

After the speechifying and the ribbon-cutting, it wasn’t long before a handful of students started checking out the threads inside a new boutique-like space at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley.

Penn Station, which celebrated its grand opening Jan. 16 on the Campus Center zero level near the cafeteria, is a “clothing closet” of free business attire for students who need to look good for job interviews, career fairs and the like.

“If you can’t afford to purchase a suit for your interview, as you can see we have plenty of nice suits in here,” said Lesha Gregory, Penn Valley’s interim vice president.

Campus president Tyjaun Lee expressed her appreciation to “the two queens who really came up with the idea”: Sonya Thomas, until recently Penn Valley’s Career Services coordinator, and Chelsia Potts, student engagement manager. Lee also thanked the Facilities team and the faculty and staff members who donated clothes, shoes, bow ties and other accessories.

Another big supporter of the project: Daniel Barickman, president of DapperKC.com. The company, which provides dry cleaning pickup and delivery,  is cleaning all the donated clothing and giving MCC a 30% discount.

Chancellor Kimberly Beatty

MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty said the professional-clothing resource is a great example of the College’s mission — “Preparing Students, Serving Communities, Creating Opportunities” — in action.

The chancellor has gone through her own closet, and “I’ve got a bag sitting right outside my bedroom door” to donate to Penn Station, she said.

Any current MCC student with an updated Career Central profile who has completed a resume review from Career Services is eligible to receive clothing from Penn Station.

Faculty and staff, as well as community members, are encouraged to donate gently used, in-fashion career clothing and accessories. Those who make a clothing or monetary donation to Penn Station will receive a donation receipt for tax-deduction purposes. Deductions and monetary value of donations provided will follow IRS guidelines. MCC will not determine the value of any individual or group donations.

If you would like to donate or have questions about the Penn Station clothing closet, please contact Chelsia Potts by emailing Chelsia.Potts@mcckc.edu.

More photos from the grand opening:

Chancellor Beatty (right) and Penn Valley Vice President Lesha Gregory check out some of the fashions. The cool, lit-up Penn Station sign, by the way, was created by Jen Dec at MCC’s Fab Lab.
Students peruse the business attire inside the new boutique-like Penn Station.
Looking good?
Looking great!
Eric Thompson (from left), Lesha Gregory, Sonya Thomas, Tyjaun Lee, Chelsia Potts and DapperKC.com’s Daniel Barickman