Cheney Free Press -

By JOHN McCALLUM
Editor 

Using tricks and trots to tackle workforce needs

Cheney High seniors develop plan to help low-income individuals access the job market

 

October 26, 2017

John McCallum

Cheney High School Future Business Leaders of America students Megumi Call (left) and Evarosa Perry (right) have combined their ideas in an effort to help people in need with skills and attire for their job search.

Cheney High senior Evarosa Perry had an idea for a project for her Future Business Leaders of American club, but didn't know how to fund it.

Fellow senior Megumi Call had an idea for a fundraiser, but no project for any potential money.

The two FBLA co-presidents got together this summer at a church retreat, compared notes and came up with "Trick-or-Trot."

The run - Call's idea - is a 1.5-mile loop beginning and ending at the high school taking place for walkers or runners of all ages from 4-6 p.m. on Oct. 28. The goal of the run - Perry's inspiration - is to collect through donations or part of the $7 entry fee business attire she said should be in "dignity condition" - i.e. no holes, stains for tears.

"If you wouldn't wear it, it wouldn't be on the rack," Perry said.

Call and Perry hope the clothes rack might be a part of a future Feed Cheney monthly meeting, providing people in a need an opportunity to pick up clothes that will help them feel good about undertaking the interview process and give them a leg up in getting a good job.

Perry said she was working through a contact in Cheney's parks and recreation department and hadn't spoken yet officially with Feed Cheney. She and Call want to see how well the run and collections do considering the next steps.

When contacted, Feed Cheney's Natalie Tauzin said while they haven't been contacted by the pair, she felt the organization would be open to the idea and hoped to discuss it in further detail.

Call and Perry said they are also working with some local business professionals, as well as training several FBLA members, to provide help during the monthly meals in other aspects of the job search: resume and cover letter writing and practicing interviewing skills and techniques.

"We just want to really help people with that," Perry said. "There are so many steps in getting a job."

Perry's idea came to her after a mission trip to Washington D.C. where in working the homeless she got a better understanding of how people fell into that situation. What struck her the most a program by the non-profit poverty-fighting organization "A Wider Circle" that dealt with workplace development, including job search skills.

According to it's website, A Wider Circle's Professional Development Center "through which we serve more than 2,000 individuals each year - has a showroom of professional attire and accessories..."

Perry's idea is similar. She said they hope to get donations of slacks, button down shirts, women's blouses, blazers, shoes - both men's and women's - belts and ties.

"If you look good, you feel good and hopefully you'll do good," Perry said.

Call got the inspiration for her part of Trick-or-Trot also from a mission trip, namely a trip to Jamaica that she raised funds for through a run. She couldn't remember whether the run was long or not.

"It was a distance that seemed long," she said.

Call said people can come to the run dressed in costume or regular running attire, and circle the loop as many times as possible while also receiving free candy.

Registration can be done at the event or online ($2 processing fee) at http://runsingup.com/Race/WA/Cheney/CheneyTrick or Trot. A route of the run is also online at the site, and officials will be stationed along the route, with parking is available at the high school.

The run will be videotaped and submitted to Spokane Teacher's Credit Union's "Hundred Dollar Project" which according to an STCU news release "encourages teens to start a movement, launch an innovation, brighten a life or change the world." Cheney FBLA was one of 20 teams that won $100 last year, and turned that around to win a $1,500 credit union award that went towards the club's March of Dimes campaign.

Call said if they are again successful with the project, they would put the $100 towards the run and donations with the intent of winning the larger prize - which would go to the workforce effort.

"This lets us put our skills into practice and it's good for us," Call said. "It gives purpose to FBLA. It helps the community."

Call or Perry can be contacted at (509) 499-2674 or (509) 368-0688 respectively for more information.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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