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Dress for Success with the LITs!

LITs gathered to plan their approach to finding the right professional look. Photo: Rosalie Arndt/IRC.

IRC in NY’s Leaders in Training (LITs) are a select group of highly engaged juniors and seniors in high school who both serve as leaders in IRC’s youth programming and participate in a host of opportunities, including college planning, civic engagement, and career development. LITs come together across languages, identities, and experiences to harness their leadership abilities and chart their paths toward success here in New York.

The LITs now look the part thanks to the inaugural LIT Dress for Success day that was held on November 2nd of this year. The day challenged current LITs to find their perfect professional interview look once they were equipped with training from IRC staff and a budget of $120 each. The initiative was a hit thanks to the additional day-of support from 6 LIT alumni who acted as Dress for Success Style Coaches. These familiar faces helped current LITs pick the right outfits, giving advice from their own experiences.

LITs offered each other advice as they narrowed their choices. Photo: Rosalie Arndt/IRC.

The Dress for Success initiative was perfectly timed, as the first LIT Career Visit for the 2019-2020 cohort was held the following week. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP once again hosted LITs for a day of informational tours and mock interviews. The LITs hosts noted the ever-increasing professionalism of the group, with one mock interviewer noting, “it’s truly impossible to tell who is interviewing who!” 

With the perfect look finalized, these LITs are ready to take on this year's Career Visits and beyond! Photo: Rosalie Arndt/IRC.

Career visits are critical not only to hone professional skills, but to broaden LITs' awareness of the many careers available across employment sectors. With the example of Freshfields, LITs learned that a law firm houses not only lawyers, but a whole microcosm of financial, communications, administrative and leadership roles to bolster the organization. LITs learn there are so many career pathways to explore, and can make informed choices about their own professional futures. Each opportunity to not only hear about different professional sectors, but to visit, ask questions, and engage across career pathways provides LITs with memorable and sometimes lifechanging experiences that may define their own college and career choices. LITs are usually the first members of their families to attend higher education in the U.S., so finding models and reference points for careers in the U.S. is a crucial and valued support for these students.

If you would like to host a LIT career visit, connect with LIT development, or support this vital program, please contact Brittany O’Neill at Brittany.ONeill [at] rescue.org