Around Town with Tony: Dressing for Success with Friday Tie Day

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 8:19 AM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Looking professional and presentable can get you in the door, acting that way is how you stay in the room. This is where programs like the Fort Wayne UNITED Friday Tie Day come in. It’s in collaboration with Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools. This is a discussion-based program that connects professional men and women from our local community with young minority males, through neckties and professional attire.

Director of Fort Wayne UNITED, Iric Headley, says “Friday Tie Day means a lot to us. We brought it to Fort Wayne to engage that black male population and help them see that identity starts from the inside out. We want them (the young men) to understand that component in their philosophy.” Headley went on to add, “The way you dress in the way you feel and carry yourself, quite frankly, the way people see you, I’ll have to do with the inside as well. And so, if we start there, we can definitely project them in the right space. Mentally, emotionally, and also physically.”

Facilitators and leaders of the program are charged with engaging student participants to build trust and relationships, empowering them to overcome life’s obstacles and challenges. Along with learning how to tie a necktie, the program will focus on helping the young men participating build character, perseverance, and a strong desire to be successful, responsible, and caring adults.

Headley says, “Tying a Tie is about diversity and professionalism. It says all kinds of things about yourself when you are able to tie a tie. I did not know how to tie a tie until I was an adult, so for me to be able to pass that on to young adults, and so many other professionals in our community, who gets to be a part of that process in this program.”

21Alive’s Tony Betton Jr. has been asked to be a mentor with the program this year and will be one of the mentors meeting on Fridays with the young men. Program Manager, Greggory Smith-Causey, shared his vision which is “We want our young men to see themselves as productive. We want them to see themselves as more than what they are. We understand that they can wear sweatpants, jeans, and hoodies, and it’s not going to change who they are internally, but it may change how people perceive them, so we want them to understand that the way people proceed you can change Just based off of the way a little thing that you can do to professionalize yourself.”.