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Buccino Leadership Institute

Burlington Stores Contributes Large Clothing Donation for Pirate’s Closet  

A photo of the Pirate's Closet team.

Pirate's Closet team held a fashion show to highlight the professional clothing provided by Burlington.

In January 2022, Jason Santos, a sophomore business major, pitched an idea for Seton Hall students without the means to afford professional attire to have a way to look their best for an interview or networking opportunity. The Pirate's Closet, a communal closet for professional attire, is scheduled to open at the beginning of the Spring 2023 semester, and students will be given the opportunity to take clothing from the Closet free of charge. The Buccino Leadership Institute and the Pirate's Closet team are excited to give all students access to professional business attire on-campus and are proud to have made a difference in the lives and careers of their fellow students.

Every year, sophomores in the Buccino Leadership Institute are given the opportunity to propose an idea to better their community, draft their peers onto a team, and work together to develop the project. Pirate's Closet was only a proposal a year ago but with the support of the Seton Hall Community, the South Orange/Maplewood community, and Burlington, Jason and his team succeeded in bringing in racks of brand-new suits, skirts and blazers of all shapes and sizes in the Career Center at Seton Hall.

A photo of clothes on a rack.This project was largely supported by Burlington Stores, Inc., who donated 300+ clothing items to Jason and his team to jumpstart the Closet. Burlington, having read about Jason's dream and project, felt inspired to donate around 140 men's clothing items and 170 women's clothing items to Pirate's Closet, which is currently slated to open in room 219 in the Career Center.

"We'd like to thank the team at Burlington for the donation and their belief in both the idea and our team," said Santos. "We would not have been as successful if not for Burlington."

This year's recipient of the Outstanding Program award from the Association of Leadership Educators, Seton Hall University's Buccino Leadership Institute fosters leadership skills through personalized instruction, coaching, ongoing mentoring and activities. Santos' carefully selected team of Buccino Leadership Sophomores comprised of Abigail Hall, Ryan Johnston, Julia Boivin, Kyle Torre, Tiffany Mendez, Graceanna Gargano, Adam D'Ambrosio, and Shweta Parthasarathy worked tirelessly to obtain clothing, identify a space to hold it, and market Pirate's Closet to the student body.

To showcase the success of the Closet, Jason and the team held a fashion show at the end of the 2021-22 school year. "We just wanted to highlight everything Burlington has done for us," stated Graceanna Gargano, a member of Santos' team, "and show how much work we had put in over the course of the semester."

The students would also like to thank the surrounding South Orange/Maplewood community, who pulled together to donate both new and gently used professional clothing to the Closet. For any community members who want to donate to the Pirate's Closet, contact Jason Santos at [email protected].

Categories: Business, Campus Life, Faith and Service

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