Dress for Success is more than just a nonprofit; it’s a catalyst for change, a support system and a symbol of hope for women striving to overcome adversity and achieve their dreams.
At the heart of the organization’s Oklahoma affiliate is Alisa Trang Green, who empowers women to write their own success stories, one outfit at a time.
“I always had a passion and calling for helping women,” she says. “I know that we were created for something beautiful, and our contribution goes further than just bearing children. I wanted to be behind an organization that believes that. Dress for Success Oklahoma City has been around for eight years, and we have seen women flourish into entrepreneurs and college graduates and strong mothers. I think only when women see that they are worthy of love and valued members of the community do we all thrive.”
Green’s background informs and drives her passion for helping others. She was born in a refugee camp in Malaysia, and her parents immigrated to the U.S. when she was only ten months old.
“Growing up in Oklahoma City was a beautiful treasure for me,” she says. “We had a lot of hard trials, but we were on the receiving end of a lot of good. Churches, charities and people were so kind to us as refugees, and now that I have the resources to do so, I want to give back to the same community that welcomed us.”
Trang, who was the former Miss Asian UCO and 4th runner-up in national Miss Vietnam USA, believes her pageantry experience has played a significant role in how she operates the organization and carries herself daily. She says participating in pageants is how she learned to be poised, dress appropriately, speak confidently and value the platforms she stood for.
At the heart of Dress for Success is its commitment to helping women break the cycle of poverty and achieve their career aspirations. The organization provides professional attire to women in need, ensuring they look and feel their bests during job interviews and as they enter the workforce. The clothing, Dress for Success believes, boosts their self-confidence and sends a powerful message to potential employers.
However, the nonprofit goes beyond just providing clothing. The organization offers a range of programs and services, including scholarships, mentorship opportunities and a professional women’s group where clients learn about financial literacy, healthy relationships and how to ask for a raise or job promotion. These resources equip women with the skills and knowledge they need to excel personally and professionally.
Green says the organization recognizes that success is not a one-time event, but a journey. Therefore, they provide ongoing support to women as they navigate their careers and personal lives. This commitment to long-term empowerment has helped countless women overcome barriers and achieve goals.
“We are so proud to be a part of the growth of our clients and see quality women go out in the community and pass on the torch to another,” she says. “We want women to be financially free, but the end goal is to have our clients thrive in all aspects of their life.”
Photo credit: Trang Green participated in pageants before her career at Dress for Success; she says her time spent on the circuit helped her to thrive in other professional environments. Photo by Tony Li