Welcome to SHARP Men: we are a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization which offers professional attire and resources for men trying to overcome workforce barriers to employment.
“YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO A MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION” – WILL ROGERS
Patrick Young | Opportunity Developer
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Patrick is an educator, businessman, organizer and advocate who is dedicated to serving his community.
Fulfilling a Need
Sharp Men New Orleans, started in February 2019, is the male counterpart to Dress for Success New Orleans, an organization that has been providing professional attire for job-searching women since 1999.
Patrick Young, who has worked with work-readiness and reentry programs in New Orleans, spearheaded the idea after realizing there was nowhere to send men who needed a suit to look their best in job interviews but couldn’t afford department-store prices.
“We want that interview suit to give them a level playing field so that when they go to that interview, they are on the same level as the next guy, that there is no difference between who they are and somebody who has money in their pockets, our motto is your first impression is your first advantage. “We all know clothes make us, make the person. If we feel confident when we are walking into the interview, the rest is history.”
With the help from Kevin Hart and his Charity Help from the Hart, he created SHARP Men New Orleans. The nonprofit, which only accepts referrals from partnering agencies, and works with clients by appointment only. We also provide clothing for men who are homeless, veterans and young men who are housed in juvenile detention centers.
The clothes are a mix between new and donated items. Some come from surplus stock at clothing stores, including K&G, Men’s Wearhouse, Brooks Brothers, Dillard’s, Macy’s and XXL. Others are privately donated by families.
“When you know you look good,” he said, “you feel good. And if you are looking good and feeling good, you talk better and you perform better.”
SHARP New Orleans is run by volunteers.
A new suit and accessories would normally cost from $300 to $400, Young said, and just because someone can’t afford the proper interview attire shouldn’t disqualify them from the opportunity. I just want to do my part. For every man you help secure employment, the more positive contributions of building wealth for families and opportunities to give back even more to the community. If the opportunity is available for women, then men also need the same system of resources and support.
I just want to do what I can to help fulfill a need in our community.
Our Vision: is to become an international network that provides resources to assist underserved men by establishing a professional self-confidence, which provides an opportunity to build wealth for themselves and their families, and to give back to their communities. There are a number of high-pressure scenarios in life, and one of them is preparing for an interview. First impressions are everything when it comes to interviews and you always want to put your best foot forward. The way you present yourself and the clothes you wear speak to your level of professionalism, drive, and level of seriousness about the role you are pursuing. Our Clients are referred by partnering agencies and will receive one on one image consulting to make sure the vision and suiting match the employer’s expectations. looking sharp is more than getting a new suit or new pair of shoes it’s a bold statement of personal branding. It’s sacrificing who you are for who you can become.
As if job interviews weren’t stressful enough, with trying to remember the right things to say and do, you have to think about what you’re going to wear. After all, interviews are all about showing yourself in the best possible light and your interview outfit is part of that. Showing up to an interview polished and dressed appropriately for the role you are interviewing for shows that you have put effort into yourself and into the organization’s culture. Looking Sharp can help with your confidence going into your interview, thinking sharp will help you effectively execute and secure the opportunity and staying sharp will enhance your sustainability personally and professionally.