Junction City girls learn first impression basics

JUNCTION CITY (KSNT) — The details matter in a first impression. But things like handshakes, eye contact and standing confidently aren’t often taught in schools.

So where can teenagers go to learn the skills they may need to stand out in a crowd of candidates all vying for one job?

Traci Scott has the answer.

Scott founded the Green Dress Project as a way to teach girls what she calls “the soft skills.”

And on Saturday at the Dorothy Bramlage Library, four girls got the face-to-face time they need to practice these important and sometimes overlooked skills.

“I’m so proud of them,” Scott said. “If I can help them to at least do this one thing and they can take it with them the rest of their lives, they’re going to leave a good impression and hopefully they have the skills to follow up with it.”

The girls, mostly high school seniors, practiced walking confidently to greet another person, making eye contact and talking with someone they don’t already know.

Which Scott says, are all the building blocks of a good first impression.

And for Jamia Bell, these are skills she wouldn’t find in any textbook.

“I feel like it’s a miracle, kind of,” Bell said. “Not many people teach this in schools and I feel like it’s a really good opportunity for me and other people.”

Bell is a senior in high school and looking for toward her future in college.

She was also the raffle winner for a $150 gift certificate to Dillards. Scott says she hands these out so the girls can start their work wardrobes.

Along with the soft skills, Scott had the girls focus on a personal mission statement, what kind of clothes are appropriate for work and a list of qualities they think others see in them.

For Bell, it was simple.

“Likes sports, loves rice,” she said with a smile.

For right now, Scott hopes to grow the Green Dress project in Kansas; especially around the Manhattan and Fort Riley area.

“I’m going to stay in this area but I’m looking for different places to go — small communities,” she said.

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