(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
In broad terms, LEAP Foundation DC aims to address the unmet needs of disadvantaged or underprivileged youth in and around the Washington, D.C., area. But broken down, so many amazing programs help the organization to meet their mission to cultivate the success of future leaders. One of those initiatives is called Suited for Success.
Imagine preparing for a college or job interview or getting ready for a formal event, but you have nothing to wear, nor do you have the ability or capacity to know where to begin. Your confidence level drops, you begin to doubt your worth and you question how you may be viewed by others. The Suited for Success program addresses those concerns and more for youth who are approaching their first opportunity at a formal occasion.
Since LEAP’s inception in 2009, President and CEO Dr. Clayton Lawrence provides individual mentorship and personal guidance, tailored specifically to the needs of young men and women – and quite literally, too. It has been five years since the Suited for Success program began, which is designed to teach young men the proper way to dress for things like job and college interviews, as well as assist in the preparation of college applications and serve as a sounding board for the hardships of growing up in the modern world. Based upon the belief that a young man cannot reach his full potential when he isn’t feeling his best, Dr. Lawrence believes that one way to stand a little taller is to feel great on the outside.
The program continues to gain support across the region, including an annual feature in the Washington Informer’s Social Sightings section. Dr. Charles Vincent has continued as publisher in memory of wife, Mickey Thompson Vincent, founder and publisher. According to Dr. Lawrence, the spotlight is the perfect way to showcase a hardworking group of young men who are prepared to step foot on the next path of their educational journey – for many of them, college. He is confident each of them will use the skills and information they were taught as they progress in the school year and onto the next step with self-confidence, positive self-esteem and reflecting not only the incredible attributes they offer on the outside, but inside, as well.
Thank you to the community for the continued support and rest assured that each of LEAP’s young mentors are working toward building the best version of themselves possible.