A burgeoning partnership between Alverno and Kohl’s advances a shared mission to empower leaders.
Kohl’s has committed to provide five $5,000 merit-based scholarships to support Alverno students, with a special focus on supporting women of color and/or are the first in their families to attend college.
The first cohort of students selected are: Liliana De Leon, majoring in human biology; Sandra Gaytan Lopez, business and management; Andrea Herrera, human biology; Mariana Lopez-Mireles, business and management; and Akeyla Stubblefield, creative arts in practice.
Professional development is an essential component of the scholarship program. Through the bi-annual “A Day at Kohl’s” event, Kohl’s Scholars will meet with Kohl’s female leadership, tour the corporate headquarters and get a firsthand look at life at a national retailer.
“The opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in the Kohl’s corporate office will be invaluable to these young women as they carve a path for themselves through college and beyond,” says Cheryl Moore, Ph.D., executive director of career development (pictured here with student Ana Olvera).
Moore says the scholarship program grew out of discussions with Kohl’s following the company’s donation of new clothing to the Career Studio’s boutique, from which Alverno students can select new or gently used professional apparel to wear for job interviews, at internships and other occasions. Apparel is free and open to all students regardless of financial need.
Moore says the scholarship program grew out of discussions with Kohl’s following the company’s donation of new clothing to the Career Studio’s boutique, where Alverno students can select new or gently used professional apparel to wear for job interviews, at internships and other occasions. Apparel is free and open to all students regardless of financial need.
The boutique represents so much more than clothing, Moore says. It’s about providing an inclusive space, empowering students with the confidence to be their authentic selves in the workplace and giving them the tools to grow as professionals.
In conjunction with Black History Month, Alverno’s Bowman Scholars considered the Kohl’s pledge for progress, a corporate commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace, its stores and the community. The scholars assessed how Kohl’s executes these beliefs on everything from its social media platforms and website to the products and displays in its stores.
Speaking to an audience of nearly 150, many of whom were Kohl’s employees, the Bowman Scholars identified areas where Black and Hispanic voices and images were missing and recommended that Kohl’s hire writers and photographers of color for authentic storytelling. The students saluted Kohl’s for featuring Black History Month on its website but suggested moving the content up higher. They were excited to see that Kohl’s carried products from Black creators during Black History Month, but they wanted to see pictures introducing the creators and sharing their stories on display next to their products.
Finally, they encouraged Kohl’s to feature Black creators year-round, not just for Black History Month, because – in the words of Bowman Scholar Breanna Taylor, a first-year student – “we are more than that.”
This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of Alverno Magazine.