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Nikkia Wade

Nikkia Wade - Local nonprofit makes woman ‘feel like a superstar,’ boosts her business

Nikkia Wade didn’t expect to join a sisterhood when she went to Dress for Success of Southern Nevada.

Wade was first referred in 2019 to the nonprofit that promotes economic independence for women through professional attire and development tools. She needed something to wear to an interview for a dental assistant job, a step toward improving her life from past mistakes.

“All I was told is that I was just getting help for my interview, but they did way more than that,” Wade said. “I felt like it really boosted my confidence because I was going into a new industry and feeling intimidated from my past choices. They made me feel like a superstar.”

Client services coordinator Lisa Wright said the model treatment is part of the nonprofit’s holistic approach to serving its clients that come from about 150 referral agencies.

“They come to us as clients, but it’s a sisterhood. We want them to be successful,” Wright said. “We provide every tool imaginable to help them reach their goals. Oftentimes if we can’t figure out the services that they need beyond the suit, the resume assistance and job coaching, et cetera, we will find out what you need.”

Several years after Wade’s first fitting, she thought of Dress for Success when her 20-year-old niece started a new job in fall 2021. The nonprofit welcomed her for a fitting.

While catching up with Wright, Wade mentioned her recently launched business called Clearly Cleared NV, which works to seal criminal records for clients.

The nonprofit wanted to continue supporting her. Dress for Success sponsored Wade’s attendance at two business conferences, where she learned about networking, developing a mission statement and setting up marketing and social media helped her network.

“To see her from where she began to where is now — an entrepreneur with her own business,” Wright said. “She looks great. She feels empowered. That’s, in a nutshell, why we do what we do.”

Wade hopes her business will help other women like her, who have turned over a new leaf but feel their past mistakes put pressure on daily life.

“Even when I was trying to look for an apartment, that was still coming up,” said Wade, who had a gross misdemeanor conviction from prior years. “So I had to really just make a whole transformation not just on the inside and out, but also on paper. A lot of times, you’re just stuck in that rut — ‘Oh, I’m not going to apply for this job or do this because I already know what they’ll say.’ But we all make mistakes and it’s never too late to change.”

This story was produced in partnership with the United Way of Southern Nevada as part of the “Everyone Deserves Hope” effort to assist local families this holiday season. To contribute, visit

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

Gwendalyn - Transformation Grew From Trust

Referred to Dress For Success Southern Nevada by the Veteran Administration, Gwendalyn first walked through the door and didn’t know what to expect. A mother of four recently arrived from Puerto Rico, she had little but the clothes on her back and the vision to better herself and her family. Once she began relying on the attentive Dress for Success Image Consultant, she quickly relaxed and began smiling.  She received the best fashion and fit possible, in fact appearing in one of the outfits for the Dana Wagner TV13 interview. She wants to come back as a volunteer for Dress for Success Southern Nevada. Gwendalyn, thank you for your service to the United States Armed Forces, and welcome to your new beginnings and successes!

Felocia Lopez

Felicia is Building Her Future

Felicia, a single mother of three, came to Dress for Success Southern Nevada to get suited for a job interview at a financial management company.  Thanks to the experience she had at Dress for Success, Felicia had the confidence and appropriate attire for her interview.  She got the job, came back to obtain enough professional attire to suit her for a full week and was on her way to a new career.  Now, she is planning to go back to school and no longer needs government assistance. Learn more about Felicia and Dress for Success Southern Nevada as highlighted by Fox 5:
Fox 5 News interviews Paula Lawrence, executive director of Dress for Success Southern Nevada and Felicia, a Las Vegas client who started a new career after her suiting.
See Felicia speak about her experience here-

Charity’s Success

Charity’s life has significantly changed since her suiting at Dress for Success Southern Nevada. She is an example of a client who came to Dress for Success with the intent to land a job in her preferred field and succeeded.
Charity did not have an easy start to her journey toward a career. It was not too long ago that she was a single mother with only dreams for her baby girl and herself. Charity sought assistance from Safe Nest, which helped her get back on her feet after being a victim of domestic violence and referred her to Dress for Success Southern Nevada.

The image consultant who worked with Charity could also give her insight into her desired career industry as her husband worked at a local mortuary. Following her suiting, Charity began her job search right away. During her search, Dress for Success Southern Nevada set her up with a mentor who was a mortician for over 20 years and who could help Charity find the best fitting profession within a mortuary.

Desert Memorial

Shortly after, Charity was hired as a funeral director at Desert Memorial in Las Vegas. Since being hired a few short months ago, her life has dramatically changed. Charity was able get off public assistance, purchase a vehicle and provide more than ever for her young daughter.

“I am happy to be in a spot in my life where I am learning from experienced people. It satisfies me spiritually, intellectually and financially,” said Charity.