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Dressed for Success
Saturday Academy boys receive a Blue Blazer at the Robing Ceremony here at Eastview School.

Last year, when the White Plains Youth Bureau was developing the High School Saturday Academy program, staff noticed that students were dressing “any ol’ way,” dumbing down their dress, and their style was not

consistent with the high achievement and personal responsibility that set them apart from their peer group and their community. 

 

Many of the young men were once part of the elementary and middle school Saturday Academy program and were required to wear a shirt, tie, and dark blue or black pants.  The staff knew that wearing a shirt and tie had had a big influence on their attitudes.  

They knew that higher achievement was more prevalent among young men who understood that it’s important to dress for the “job they want” and to leave positive impressions.

White Plains Youth Bureau Executive Director Frank Williams addresses the young men of the Saturday Academy.

When some boys left the program at the end of 8th grade, they reverted back to the dress and style consistent with the expectations of their homes and community. 

 

From the Youth Bureau’s perspective, students who dress in a uniform type of clothing are more likely to complete homework, get better grades, and have fewer suspensions.

 

The Youth Bureau team realized that the young men needed to have a sense of belonging, and to know that because they were unique, great things were expected of them. But many of the young men only owned sneakers and did not have shoes.  Many did not have a tie, vest or a blue or black blazer. The Bureau we set out change that, and purchased vests and blazers and held a Rites of Passage Program. During the program, various speakers discussed achievement, success and dress. Even the staff is required to wear a shirt and tie, and some even wear blazers.