At JCPenney, we’re committed to ensuring every child, regardless of their background or circumstance, has the opportunity to be successful, which is why we support programs that help close the opportunity gap for underserved youth through essential clothing needs, access to youth programs and career readiness support. To directly address this opportunity gap in our own backyard, we welcomed more than 100 Dallas-area college-bound teens to our Home Office for a day of learning and mentoring during the fourth-annual Camp JCPenney.
Our CEO Jill Soltau, Chief Customer Officer Shawn Gensch, SVP of Store Environment and Design Jennifer Hipskind and SVP of Women’s Specialty Apparel Angela Swanner opened the day with inspiring remarks to the graduates of Dallas ISD Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School and Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy. Each executive shared personal experiences from college that helped shaped their careers, encouraging students to be their authentic selves and exercise a growth mindset to get the most out of the next level of education.
Teens then spent time with JCPenney associates from departments across the company in a small-group setting to discuss the college experience and tips and tricks for this important next stage in life. Associates shared personal anecdotes about college and professional life, helping to alleviate the stress of the unknown. As many of these students are first-generation college attendees, our associates were able to be a resource and provide insights the graduates may not have been able to otherwise otherwise.
The day concluded with each student receiving a starter dorm room package from our popular private brand, JCPenney Home, to dress up their new college digs and give them a comfortable place to rest and study. Teens took home a comforter, sheet set, pillows, towels, desk lamp, bath wrap and backrest. We are proud to help alleviate at least one financial burden for these teens, bringing them one step closer to success.
“I am so thankful that JCPenney is providing the class of 2019 with luxurious items for our dorms,” said BOMLA student Kendrian Collins. “The generous donations have offset the worries of having the finances to live a comfortable lifestyle while attending college. Now, I will be able to more fully focus on my education and commitment to my community.”