In January Teen Closet members from six high schools met at the Target store in Oro Valley. After studying hard and performing six hours of community service during the previous semester, 50 students qualified for a $200.00 shopping experience. An adult SBCO volunteer accompanied each student as they made their selections at both the Target and Ross Dress for Less stores. At the end of the evening, the teens and their adult shopping assistants smiled and hugged good-bye. Most of the adult volunteers said they had so much fun that they wanted to help at the next Teen Closet.
The concept for Teen Closet began as an off shoot of Kids’ Closet in 2001. The following year, seven students in the Catalina community received a school wardrobe. In the ensuing years, teens attending Canyon de Oro and Ironwood Ridge, the two schools that serve the Catalina and Oracle Communities, were the invited to join Teen Closet, bringing the total number of wardrobes purchased to 644 by 2017. The following year the SBCO Board voted to extend the Teen Closet Service area to include the students attending San Manuel High School. After that, the Board authorized the addition of Hayden Winkelman, Ray, and Superior high schools, bringing the total number of schools served to six. To date, 1,080 wardrobes have been purchased by Teen Closet students. During the height of the Covid pandemic, eligible students received gift cards instead of in-person shopping to keep the teens, their families and our SBCO volunteers safe.
True to the SBCO mission of providing opportunities for kids to succeed, Teen Closet has given teenagers the opportunity to attend school with pride of person, knowing that they have earned this benefit through their hard work and mindfulness of the needs of others in their community.
By Vivian Enrico