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Rockville Centre Girl Scout creates way to dress for success

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Isabella Verga believes in the importance of making a good first impression. The recent South Side High School graduate is also aware that, when it comes time to make that first impression on a job interview, some people do not have the means to dress for the occasion, and end up avoiding interviews as a result. To help remedy the situation, Verga, while working on her Gold Award for Girl Scouts, reached out to the John A. Anderson Recreation Center in Rockville Centre to create a way for people to access the appropriate attire, from head to toe, at no cost.

Verga’s project, “Get Ready With Me: Job Edition” is intended to help low-income adults prepare for job interviews by providing clothing as well as interview tips.

“When deciding what to do for my project I knew that I wanted it to be job-related, due to my interest in both business and fashion,” Verga said, noting that she will major in business at Ohio State University next year. “I found that most low-income adults don’t go on interviews because they don’t have the appropriate clothing, skills, and confidence.”

Earlier this year, she held a clothing drive and collected suits, dresses, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and toiletries. She contacted the recreation center, which was able to donate space for her to organize all of the items, complete with a mirror and fitting room.

“Since I also wanted to address lack of confidence, I put motivational posters around the room to spread positivity,” Verga said. “To help low-income adults gain the skills they need to go on interviews, I created a brochure with common interview questions, how to dress, how to stay confident, and last minute tips. These brochures will be available in the room at the Rec Center for anyone to take.”

Maura Ressegger of the Rockville Centre Recreation Department said that Verga reached out to her and superintendent Ginger Creegan about obtaining space, and they were able to accommodate her.

“We both thought it was an excellent idea,” Ressegger said. “A lot of people don’t have the means to get the items needed for a job interview, and we know how important it is to dress appropriately. There are so many generous people in Rockville Centre who were able to donate clothing, shoes and jewelry, and this could really benefit people looking for jobs.”

Verga was prepared to hold an event in March and unveil the space, but had to switch to a virtual platform once the pandemic hit.

“Due to the outbreak of the virus, my project took more of a virtual turn,” she said. “I created a YouTube channel to share my project and provide information. My videos include a look at my brochure and a mock interview. I also created a website to spread the word that my room will be accessible once quarantine is over, and also provide valuable resources and tips.”

Verga and the Girl Scouts will coordinate appointment times with those interested, once the recreation center is reopen to the public.