Dressing for Success in Gadsden County

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Baggy pants and bare midriffs may be a thing of the past in one rural school district.

East Gadsden is implementing a program that will be the catalyst for change.

A look into the future for Gadsden County reveals young men in suits and young women impeccably dressed: this would be the class of 2010.

They would be the best and brightest of tomorrow's future leaders, dressing for success and looking the part.

Johnnie Beaman says of the new look, "It's nice to dress in a suit and look intelligent, not looking trashy or grungy you have to look the part."

Not only are they looking the part, but the 9th grade students are living up to the challenge of changing the bad boy or bad girl image of baggy jeans and droopy pants, by turning to more businesslike attire.

Blanca Maldonado says, "First impressions are lasting. If you dress with comfortable clothes and success you succeed in life."

Ryan Schaeneman says, "It makes you feel good about yourself and it just makes you look nice on a good day."

One by one, the students are putting their best foot forward, receiving certification for participating in East Gadsden's Dress for Success Program.

It’s a program aimed at helping students become confident in their appearance, while building character. So far, it's getting high marks.

Fahuum Halim says of the program, "I want to feel good and I want people to say good things about me. I want to have a good future and make a lot of money in life." Lives that can have a positive outlook if you start dressing for success at an early age.

More than 200 9th grade students are participating in the program. School officials hope more kids will follow suit.