Graduation should be a special time in someone’s life and, for most people, it is. But for some students — those facing financial hardships, for example — graduation can be more stressful than it is exciting.
Some may even choose to not participate.
Digital content creator and social media influencer Sultan Sandur has taken a step forward in an attempt to make graduation better for a couple of local kids with a program he calls Suited Up, which will see two grads getting free outfits for the big occasion.
“I noticed that in the community, there are a lot of initiatives that were geared towards finding dresses for female graduates,” he said. “But I didn’t find anything for male graduates.”
Sandur decided to leverage his work as a blogger and men’s accessory designer to team up with a number of fashion companies to help dress two deserving local graduates.
Companies involved with the initiative include Black and Lee, Tense Watches, Vichy Canada, CeraVe, Conair, McAllister and Howard, Fern & Frond, Ra Hair Salon and Got2B.
With those companies on board, the program needs nominations.
The only criterion for a nomination is that the student has struggled with adversities in life and still made it to graduation.
“Being able to get up to Grade 12 is a major milestone and they’ve already accomplished a lot,” Sandur said.
Suited Up is an inclusive initiative, with male, female and non-binary students eligible to be nominated.
Though the initiative is only able to dress two students this year, Sandur hopes the program can expand in the years to come, as there are many more students who could use the support.
“There’s so many people in need and this initiative will be able to make two people feel special and two people feel supported by the community,” he said.
And, Sandur noted, if more businesses want to join the initiative, there is room for them.
Sandur grew up in Kamloops, attending Valleyview secondary and completing his bachelor of arts at Thompson Rivers University.
He recently returned to the city to pursue his master’s degree. He said this initiative is his way of giving back to the community.
“It’s just a way for me to use my platform to do some good,” he said.
Nomination forms can be obtained by emailing Sandur at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations close on May 22.