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ASPiRE Community Fellow Helps Women Achieve Career Success

VCU alumna and ASPiRE Community Fellow Shantell Malachi had no way of knowing that growing up in Richmond’s Creighton Court housing development and watching her mother work 12-hour shifts would help her discover her passion.  

While working as a support specialist at DuPont, Malachi founded Dress for Success Central Virginia. Dress for Success is an international nonprofit that provides professional attire for underprivileged women who are entering the work force.

Malachi eventually left DuPont to serve as Dress for Success’ full time executive director.

“Serving as the executive director allows me to do what I love every day, which is helping people build careers, and I'm also able to give back to the community,” Malachi said.  “One of the most satisfying aspects of my work is to see women gain employment and become economically independent."

Women come to Dress for Success Central Virginia by referral and appointment and are eligible to receive an outfit for an upcoming interview, along with career support resources including mock interviews, goal planning and resume reviews. After being hired, women can receive a week’s worth of career clothes and are invited to participate in the Professional Women’s Group.   

In addition to her undergraduate studies at VCU, Malachi earned a doctorate in organizational management and human resources development from Capella University.  

Like many ASPiRE students, Malachi lives her life by the quote, “be the change you want to see in the world.”

For more information on Dress for Success or to donate work appropriate clothing, contact Malachi at