Business students open the Herriman HangerNov 07, 2023 11:10AM ● By Jet Burnham
Herriman High School business students Seth Haaga, Emily Reinoso and Kensleigh Eagar organized a project to provide dress clothing for their peers. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
When students in the high school business clubs DECA and FBLA participate in competitions, they are expected to act and dress the part of a business professional. This year, DECA Club Adviser Randall Kammerman has had more and more students tell him they don’t have nice slacks, dress shoes or a belt to wear.
So, he turned to some outstanding business students, Kensleigh Eagar, Emily Reinoso and Seth Haaga, to tackle the problem.
“They're all kids I knew would actually get it done,” Kammerman said.
The three students organized and implemented a plan for the Herriman Hanger, a collection of new and gently used professional clothing, shoes and accessories that students can borrow or take as needed.
To build an inventory, the business students advertised for donations from students as well as from the wider community.
They reached out to their contacts at Scheels, who sponsored a monthlong clothing drive in their Sandy store. The students arranged to appear on Good Things Utah and on KSL news and to be featured on social media sites with large followings.
“Anyone can donate because we really need to have lots of sizes and styles, and we want to make sure we have something for everyone who comes in,” Reinoso said. “And so being able to promote in those ways, we’ve been able to spread it around to a larger portion of Utah.”
Kammerman is pleased with how the three students have handled the project.
“They just get stuff done, that’s what's nice about these kids,” he said. “I don't even have to follow up on it, I just know it's going to get done. That's the real world application part of DECA that's my favorite. If I was their boss and I say ‘I need you guys to get this done,’ I don't have to micromanage them, I don't have to check on them, it just happens.”
Kammerman said these types of real-world projects hone students’ business skills and general life skills.
“They learn a little bit about time management skills, organization and working as a team, and hopefully they see the value of helping other people,” he said. “But the biggest thing they get out of it is, you can do cool things even though you’re a young, dumb high school kid.”
The three students will present their Herriman Hanger business plan at the state FBLA and DECA club competitions next spring.
“We do want to do it for a DECA project, but it’s more than that,” Eagar said. “It’s helping the school and helping the students.”
She said 20% of the student body is on the free and reduced lunch program and 30% are multilingual students, which are groups of students who may not be able to purchase new clothing.
The need for nice clothing is not limited to business students. Members of the school’s sports teams are expected to participate in dress-up days, a tradition that helps unify the team and encourages support from their peers on game days. The Herriman Hanger is open to those students who need a tie or a nice shirt to wear.
“Anybody who has to dress up, we’ll give you anything we’ve got,” Kammerman said. “I just hate the idea of any kid not joining a club because they’re scared they don’t have the clothes to make it happen.”
The Herriman Hanger resource is not limited to school activities.
“There was a girl who came in the other day,” Eagar said. “She had an interview, but when she came to school, she forgot her top. So, she just went into the [Herriman Hanger] and picked something out.”
Kammerman said there will always be a need for this resource and that there will always be business students to keep it running.
“It can easily be a recurring project every year where we just try to get other people to think bigger and start trying to get companies involved,” he said. λ