SAN ANTONIO – A free community program called Suit Up is helping educate youth on the basic principles of hygiene, etiquette and fashion.
What is the program?
It is an eight-week course aimed at teaching men, young and old, about how to dress to impress, but it is also a leadership class.
"It's a community organization that started as a group getting suits for people coming in and out of jail and for young kids entering workforce who need clothes to go to work and have the basic necessities, like socks, shoes and a nice shirt," said Walter E. Perry Sr., the man who started and teaches the class.
But for a lot of the youth involved, it's so much more than that.
"Some of these boys lack the basic know-how of bathing, putting on deodorant, ironing and folding clothes, so we want to teach them the basics of what's happening in that program," said Perry.
Who can get involved in the class?
Men of any age can take the course. The participants are as young as elementary school students, and grown men take part as well. Perry said two San Antonio police officers are recent graduates of the Suit Up program
What are the benefits of the class?
Graduates who spoke with KSAT 12 News said Suit Up changed their lives.
“It really taught me how to talk to people how to interact with them and how to get a job. For my interview, I nailed it, came in looking sharp, look them in the eye and it’s just been a blessing,” said Tre Chaney, a 15-year-old Suit Up graduate.
Chaney also said the program helped him get on the right path.
“The road I was going before the suit class, I don’t know where I would be. (The course) made me the person I am today,” said Chaney.
How much does it cost to enroll?
The course is free and, at the end of the class, you are supposed to receive a suit. But Perry said that, of the 250 graduates of the program, only about half have gotten suits because the program does not have enough resources.
How can you help?
Perry said the program accepts donations, but that’s not what it really needs. Suit Up needs suits to give to graduates. If you are interested in enrolling or donating, you can reach out to Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org