Making Change Together: Celebrating Community Leaders at JCPenney and Beyond

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and today and every day, JCPenney is celebrating the incredible achievements of women worldwide. From our own JCPenney associates to women who lead our partnering nonprofit organizations, meet some of the inspiring women who are making change in their communities.

Meet the Changemakers

Pamela | Dress for Success Dallas CEO, JCPenney programs management director

Pamela joined Dress for Success Dallas in 2017 as a volunteer and quickly realized she could do more to give back to the community. In 2019, she joined their Board of Directors as the Vice President before taking over as CEO in 2021.

Under her leadership, Dress for Success Dallas has continued to uphold the missions of empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Carol | KEOS 89.1 FM volunteer, JCPenney sales associate (store 2184) 

Since 2017, Carol has invested hundreds of hours with Brazos Educational Radio KEOS 89.1 FM, a volunteer-led community radio station in Brazos Valley, Texas. Last year she was awarded the maximum amount of James Cash Penney Volunteer Grants for the station. 

She wears many hats at KEOS in addition to being a radio host, including helping with building renovations and maintenance, fundraising, volunteer training and management. Carol emphatically feels that working for JCPenney and volunteering for KEOS has kept her connected to the community in unique ways. “It is an honor to be recognized for doing what I love, and I appreciate JCPenney’s financial and emotional support as I continue to volunteer.” 

Grace | Sincerely You Project volunteer, JCPenney Salon stylist (store 2905)

Grace has dedicated her free time over the last two years providing free haircuts for the homeless with the Sincerely You Project – a nonprofit organization that provides support, community and confidence for people experiencing homelessness. 

On the second Sunday of each month, Grace sets up at the Austin Street Center in Downtown Dallas, providing free haircuts for those in need. “I believe I can be a beacon of hope for the homeless by sharing my own struggles. One thing I always hear from the men and women that I have taken care of is ‘it’s nice to know that someone cares.’” 

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot | Feeding America CEO 

Claire is the chief executive officer of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,00 food pantries and meal programs, and one of our national nonprofit partners 

Outside of her role with Feeding America, Claire has supported the community through her involvement with Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, National Urban League and National Association of Black Accountants.  

She was also named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2020, recognized for her work leading Feeding America to meet the needs of millions of Americans who faced food insecurity during the pandemic. 

Rachel Currie Triska | VolunteerNow CEO 

Last year, Rachel became CEO for VolunteerNow – one of the largest volunteer centers in the country and a JCPenney nonprofit partner for nearly 35 years. 

Well-known for her advocacy in justice and equity, Rachel’s philanthropic efforts extend beyond VolunteerNow to support causes like the Deep Ellum Foundation, the Criminal Justice Coalition of North Texas and the American Civil Liberties Union. She was also recently named a champion for the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas 

Soudary Kittivong-Greenbaum | Alliance for a Healthier Generation, vice president of development 

At Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Soudary leads a team of passionate individuals who work together to reach their shared vision of every young person being healthy and ready to succeed. JCPenney is proud to support Alliance for a Healthier Generation through our multi-year partnership and $300,000 commitment to their educational program, The Walking Classroom. 

Soudary has more than 20 years of experience leading fundraising initiatives for diverse nonprofits—building philanthropic partnerships to power missions through a community-centric lens. 

Gabriela Kane Guardia | Latinitas executive director 

Gabriela is a passionate advocate for Latina prosperity through culturally relevant STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education, specifically in her work with Latinitas — a nonprofit organization that empowers young Latina girls to innovate through media, technology, leadership and creative skills. JCPenney has proudly supported Latinitas since 2022 as our Hope & Wonder Hispanic Heritage Month partner. 

Gabriela also serves as a board member of Texans for the Arts and Austin Emerging Arts Leaders. She is dedicated to using arts, media, technology and education to build empowered, diverse communities. 

In honor of Women’s History Month, JCPenney is donating to the causes and charities these women support.  

“We have the honor of working with incredible women every day, whether within our own walls at JCPenney, through our nonprofit work, or in working with our women-owned brand founders, not to mention all the women that walk through our doors as customers,” said Chief Customer Officer Katie Mullen. “We hope the impact of these initiatives is felt far beyond this one month.” 

Nominate a Female Changemaker  

To honor everyday women impacting their communities, JCPenney is donating to the nonprofits they support. If you are or know a woman who gives back to her community through work with a nonprofit organization, nominate them here by Friday, March 31. Winners will be announced on May 1 across JCPenney’s social media platforms and will receive a $2,000 grant for their nonprofit.

Eligible nominees can be any woman actively serving their community through volunteer work at a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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