Jason Santos, Founder of Pirate’s Closet
When Jason Santos joined the Buccino Leadership Institute as a sophomore “newbie” this semester, he never imagined he would be standing in front of 70 students and faculty, about to pitch an original idea for a leadership project. a semester that would leave audiences breathless.
But he did.
He probably didn’t plan that he would then hire his own team of 9 interdisciplinary students from across the university in a live draft to help bring his idea to fruition.
But he did.
And now he and his team are ready to help Seton Hall students who are in need and at a critical point in their professional careers.
And with your help, they will.
Santos, from the Stillman School of Business, is one of seven sophomores leading their own interdisciplinary teams this semester as part of LEAD 2050.
In the fall, each sophomore had the opportunity to come up with an original idea to help Seton Hall or the surrounding community. Ideas ranged from new approaches to the Institute’s recruiting efforts, a professional program connecting leadership students with USH alumni, and an effort to incorporate the Institute’s most popular exercise, the “crucible moments” exercise, in the CORE program.
But the idea that Santos pioneered — to create a lending closet of professional business attire for Seton Hall students who don’t own them — was the big winner and most acclaimed this year.
Santos shared the genesis of his idea. “The idea came out of a vulnerable time when I couldn’t afford formal attire for our first corporate leadership event. On the day of the event, I went to Burlington Coat Factory and rushed to get clothes that barely fit me. The truth is that I was embarrassed that I could not buy the appropriate clothes. I was inspired to avoid such a problem for other students.
Jason Santos and his IDT team, “Pirate’s Closet”
Santos said the goal of his project was “to ensure that every student has access to appropriate evening attire.” His team will establish a work closet filled with formal business attire that represents the needs of our student community.
“Not only do we plan to provide clothing,” Santos noted, “but we also want to educate students on proper dress for professional attire.”
Dr. Bryan Price, executive director of the Buccino Leadership Institute, recalled the emotion he felt in Jubilee Auditorium when Santos pitched his idea. “It was one of those rare moments when a student not only had an idea to take home, but the presentation was so genuine and heartfelt, so personal. I looked around and everyone was speechless. ”
Santos said his team needs your help to make this dream a reality.
“We will be running an official campaign April 4-8, Monday-Friday. We are looking for business attire, especially (but not limited to) blazers, dress shirts, boobs, dress pants and ties. “
Santo said to look for donation boxes on campus that are labeled “Pirates Closet.” The team also has a PageInstagram where people can go for more information.
Price said the team was also struggling to find a temporary place on campus to store clothes. He asks if there are any administrators on campus who have space they would like to temporarily “donate”, please contact him and Santos.
Finally, the team is also looking for a laundry service that will support the program at a reduced cost.
While this quirky project is a great opportunity to do good for Seton Hall students in need, it’s also a unique opportunity for Santos to grow as a leader.
“There has been a lot of personal growth throughout this project,” Santos noted. “I work with such an incredible team of interdisciplinary students, and I see this idea that I had blossom into something tangible.”
Price said these are the types of scenarios he envisioned when Interdisciplinary Team Projects (IDTs) were introduced to the program.
“These projects allow students to create their own entrepreneurial projects, hire their own team, and execute their plan. Along the way, these leaders find their own voice and can experiment with leadership styles and approaches that they will succeed.”
“But it’s definitely a special project,” Price added. “And Jason is a special young man.”