Removing Barriers To Success With RVCs Career Closet

A Career Closet is something RVC Dean of Students Terrica Huntley has wanted to start for quite some time. She's seen many students struggling financially in what seems to be a cycle in our community. Many are advancing their education to earn more money for themselves and their families. Often, they are held back from participating in job interviews because they don't have the clothing or tools to do well. The Career Closet can fill those basic needs that are lacking. "My hope with the Career Closet was that we could remove this barrier to help students go on interviews and look and feel good doing so without a large financial burden," said Dean Huntley.  

Dean Huntley brought her idea to the RVC Student Government for assistance with initial start-up costs, including garment racks, labels, and hangers. "Many students may not have the funds within their income to buy new clothes, especially business clothes which can be very expensive," said Student Government President Karina Martinez. "It will be nice for them to come in and get clothing for free."

The RVC family and community have stepped up to meet the needs of students. So far, the closet has received donations of 600 clothing items and 250 accessory items (shoes, bags, jewelry, scarves, and hats) from 20 people. Since the closet opened on October 3, 15 students have received assistance with 45 articles of clothing and accessories. Goodwill and Salvation Army are good resources for clothing, but RVC was looking for a free option for students. "We all are so blessed and have so much, so I thought our community could share resources by donating clothing we had," continued Dean Huntley. "I know I certainly had clothing with tags (that don't fit anymore) just sitting and figured I could give them away for a student to benefit from them."

Kavonnie Dotson, a Student Government member, thinks the Career Closet is amazing. "I'm shocked that you don't have to pay for these clothes," said Kavonnie. "There's nice stuff here, coats and sweaters. I feel like I can look presentable for any occasion, whatever I do."

Vanessa Sims, Student Navigator Generalist, assists with putting stylish outfits on display at the Career Closet. She recently became the advisor of the new RVC Fashion Club, which meets every Tuesday at 3 pm in the Student Lounge. The organization's purpose is to provide a platform for students to express themselves through Fashion and Fashion related areas to better understand the art.

The Career Closet is currently accepting donations of gently used and clean "ready to wear' professional and career attire, including suits (pants or skirts with matching jacket), suit jackets or blazers, skirts, dress pants or slacks, business casual pants or khakis, button-down shirts, blouses, skirts, dresses, ties, closed-toe dress shoes, sweaters, scarves, purses, briefcases, laptop bags, belts, and hangers. 

Students can select 3 FREE clothing items (suit, jacket, blazer, pants, skirts, blouses, shirts, dress, etc.) for each visit and up to 2 FREE accessories (purse, bag, ties, scarves, shoes, jewelry, belt, etc.) each time you visit. 

RVC Career Closet is located at CLII 219 and is open by appointment. For more information or to schedule an alternative time, call 815-921-4101 or email

For assistance with resumes, interviews, and job searches, contact the RVC Career Services Department at or call 815-921-4100.