SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. | Thanks to the generosity of Provident Bank, students in Lehigh Career & Technical Institute’s DECA chapter are ready to rock this year’s competition season.
Employees from the bank’s three Lehigh Valley branches donated gently used business attire to Lehigh DECA in late August, punctuating a summer-long collection effort.
LCTI Marketing & Business Education teacher Cyndee Barkley said students can draw items from the trove of clothes before testing their skills in local or state DECA competitions that require participants to dress for success. Purchasing competition clothes can be a burdensome expense for some students and their families, she said.
The roughly 48-piece donation includes dress shirts, blouses, sport coats, dresses and other items in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. It’s a wonderful resource that will make preparing for competition less costly and stressful, said Barkley, who advises the Lehigh DECA chapter.
Andrea Reid, Assistant Vice President, Events & Community Relations for Provident, spearheaded the collection effort through the bank foundation’s Commit to Care program, which encourages employees to support causes that spark their passion.
Reid participated in DECA as a Freedom High School (Bethlehem Township, Pa.) student and said the experience prepared her for success in ways that college did not. “It was a program that gave me a bigger jump start in my career than five years of college did.”
With that in mind, Reid reached out to the region’s DECA chapters and Barkley was among the first advisors to respond and identify a need.
“The timing was perfect,” Reid said, explaining that many Provident employees agreed to part with some of their office outfits because they’re working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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