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Gifting our community: Helping students find work

PeopleDeirdre Hussey1 Comment

You can help others be what’s possible — regardless of location, time zone or ZIP code. 

That’s what Seattle-based Gap Inc. employee Stephanie Carmel has proven. She and more than 40 volunteers offer support, advice and expertise to young people who are finishing their education and looking to break into the job market — thousands of miles away in the Bronx.

Stephanie and her volunteer crew, who are scattered all over North America, orchestrate this virtually, through email and phone calls. 

“The work we do with students at FEGS Bronx Youth Center is centered around preparing them for job interviews. We share advice, interviewing tips and an employer’s perspective. We want to build the students’ skills and confidence,” said Stephanie, a Recruiting Manager in Banana Republic’s Midwest Region. 

Now Stephanie and her crew are helping students with the next step. Their project was chosen by Gap Foundation as a recipient of the holiday program “20 Days of Giving,” which offered Community Leaders the opportunity to give even more to the organizations they support. Stephanie applied for a grant to put students in new outfits for job interviews. 

Stephanie started volunteering with FEGS Bronx Youth Center more than two years ago and then got her team involved.

“These students are working to finish their education and get back on track, and our whole volunteer team is rooting for them. Professional clothing will help them feel more confident so they can succeed in their job interviews,” she said.

Old Navy partners in the Bronx have also played an integral part, hiring six students from the center. 

“I love doing this work because it gives me the opportunity to have a positive influence on the lives of young people. We create a forum for them to learn and grow while praising and encouraging them. We show them the respect and kindness they deserve.” 

Editor’s note: To learn more about our Community Leaders and all 20 of the grants gifted during 20 Days of Giving, visit