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Be Bold for Change

 S&S24: Maximum Uplift 

From left: Fernanda Menezes, Michelle Brown, Grace Moon, Alauna Vallot, and Liz Reinert

March 2nd, 2024 wasn't just another day on the calendar at Suited for Change. It was a day brimming with anticipation, excitement, and empowerment as we joined forces with the Alliance for Career Development Nonprofits and Smart&Sexy for the electrifying Be Bold for Change S&S24: Maximum Uplift event. It was a day dedicated to empowering women to reach new heights as they continue along their professional journey. 


As the clock struck 9:30, a wave of eager clients flooded in, ready for a day that promised not just learning but a community of support. Among the attendees, there was representation from fourteen referral partner organizations, including Asian Pacific Islander DVRP, Catholic Charities, St. Ann’s, DC Central Kitchen,  and Calvary Women’s Services, among others. Thanks to the generosity of our hosts, Waterfront Church DC, childcare was provided on-site, ensuring that every client could fully engage in the day's activities without worrying about their little ones.





The excitement kicked off right away as each client was greeted with a warm smile and handed a goodie bag, complete with a raffle ticket, setting the stage for an exciting day ahead filled with valuable insights and opportunities. Clients enjoyed a delightful continental breakfast provided by Giant Food, setting a welcoming tone for the day's activities. But the real thrill began with the first raffle drawing for Meredith Fineman’s book Brag Better, igniting a sense of anticipation among the attendees. 


And that was just the beginning. 


Michelle Brown, SPHR

The first presenter of the day was Michelle Brown, SPHR, who shared invaluable insights in her talk titled Five Things HR Really Wants You to Know. This session shed light on the essential qualities and steps that lead to success in the workforce, offering clients actionable advice to consider on their career journeys. 



From the Scarf Booth led by Marianne Clifford Upton to healthy living tips with Isabel Carrizales at the Giant Booth, clients engaged with resources aimed at not just enhancing their professional development, but also boosting their confidence and well-being. Clients also had the opportunity to sit down at the Professional Development Booth with Diedra Yates and Lynn LaColla Barnsback for one-on-one coaching sessions to amplify their confidence and utilize their skills. To cap off the break-out booths, the ACDN Bra Fitting Booth, led by Carol Adgerson, provided not only practical assistance but also valuable insights into embracing the body with confidence. 


Dr. Sherry Marts

The day's learning journey continued with a session by Dr. Sherry Marts, Steady Your Mind, Ace the Interview: Techniques for Calm and Confidence. Through her presentation, she guided attendees through calming techniques, emphasizing the importance of self-confidence and individuality in interview settings. 


Paulette Robinson

And then came a highlight of the day: The Crown Act: Embracing Natural Hair with Confidence presentation led by Paulette Robinson – a first-time addition to the program. With a blend of historical evidence and practical advice surrounding race-based hair discrimination, Paulette captivated the audience. Her presentation was accompanied by a makeup demonstration and clients were encouraged to follow along with the makeup kits provided in their goodie bags. It was a moment of celebration and acceptance that resonated deeply with everyone in the room.


Isa Carrizales, RD, LDN

The event presentations concluded with Zero Waste Eating by Isa Carrizales, RD, LDN, from Giant's Healthy Living Team. She educated clients on practical ways to incorporate healthy eating habits into their lives, from pickling to portioning meals for optimal nutrition. 



With food already on the brain, it was time to cap off the day with a delicious catering spread by none other than DC Central Kitchen. DC Central Kitchen Catering features fresh, locally-sourced, high-quality food made with love by DC Central Kitchen staff and students. Proceeds from the catering social enterprise supports living-wage jobs and DC Central Kitchen’s inspiring work to fight hunger differently here in DC. While everyone munched on their sandwiches, the final raffle prize was selected, marking a memorable moment of joy for all in attendance. 


As the event drew to a close, it was clear that something magical had happened.


The client experience throughout the day was aptly summarized by Renee, who remarked,

"I always walk away from SFC workshops feeling rejuvenated after meeting women from all walks of life, sharing resources, and women supporting women with their knowledge in human resources, professional development, and nutrition." 

Thanks to the collective efforts of clients, presenters, volunteers, and staff, this event was a resounding success. With your support, more women will be empowered to bolden their careers and live well-rounded lives. 





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