Ico improves financial inclusiveness


Owen Foster-Hickey

The graphic above represents the Isabella Ico’s Dignity Closet logo.

Many Cape High families have financial struggles, resulting in some students not having the supplies or clothes they need to be successful in school. These students are often struggling in their academic and social life also. In high school, there are many necessities students require to get through a day. Not all family budgets allow for supplies.  A visionary student has set up a program to alleviate this problem in our school.

Cape High Senior, Isabella Ico, is introducing the “Dignity Closest” to the school. The Dignity Closet is a place where students in need will be able to pick up needed supplies and clothes at no cost. As her IB CAS project, she organized a group of forward thinkers into a club to create the closet, which will be available for students in late September.

    Over summer break, Ico and her newly formed club have been fundraising and collecting items for the closet. Some of the items students will be able to pick up in the closet include clothes, school supplies, and toiletries. Everything will be supplied to students in need at no cost and no need to identify themselves, but rather keep their dignity when getting help.

  “It [the Dignity closet] works towards providing necessities to those who are in need, whether in our school community [or] local community. It’s very much open to anyone that finds value in its purpose,” says Ico when asked about the closet’s function.  The club will be actively fundraising and collecting new items to keep the closet supplied at all times.

 School counselor,  Robert Barnes, is the facilitator of the club. Barnes is not new to giving essential supplies to students in need. For years, Barnes has been collecting clothes left behind on Cape High campus and giving them to students if they were in a life crisis, or if they were sent to student services for violating the dress code. Ico and Barnes now work together to make this resource more readily available to all students.

  “They’re also trying to get younger students involved with it [the club]” says Cape High Chemistry Teacher, Dianna Isaac, the sponsor for Ico’s club. Recently, there was a meeting on September 16th, where Ico’s club filled the closet and prepared it to open. If any students are interested in joining Ico’s Dignity Closet project, keep an eye out for information regarding their next meeting. 

To access the contents of the closet, students can request to see their guidance counselor. Students will be able to discuss their needs, and they will gain admittance to the closet to collect what they need. Additionally, Cape High teachers will be able to refer students to see their counselor, if the teacher believes they need it.

 “The biggest thing is that we want to make sure that it is someplace that can be private,” stated Barnes. If you think this resource can benefit you, contact your counselor. “People get what they need while maintaining their dignity,” said Barnes.