Campus & Community

Panther’s Closet and Pantry officially open on the Boca Raton campus

From left: Palmer the Panther, Natacha Nettles, Robin Russo, Dr. Van Williams, Victoria Monteiro, Marcella Montesinos and David Rutherford

Palm Beach State College held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 8, to officially open its new Panther’s Closet and Pantry at its Boca Raton campus.

More than 50 staff, community members and elected officials attended the ceremony, including former Boca Raton city council member and county commissioner Robert Weinroth; Donna Biase, co-founder and chief executive officer of Best Foot Forward Foundation; Jessica Del Vecchio, economic development manager for the City of Boca Raton; Kelly Kennedy, economic development coordinator for the City of Boca Raton; Brian Montalvo, assistant vice president of Florida Atlantic University’s Career Center; and Savannah Koval, case management coordinator at FAU.

Panther’s Closet is a thrift store that sells gently used clothing items for $1 and is run by PBSC Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College students through a community-based learning course that teaches key entrepreneurial skills in management, sales and team building. Panther’s Pantry provides free food and toiletries to students and staff in need.

Opening remarks were given by Provost and Dean of Student Services for the Boca Raton campus Dr. Van Williams, who introduced Honors College student Victoria Monteiro.

Honors College student Victoria Monteiro speaks about her Panther’s Closet work experience during the ceremony.

“This course has been very important to me in my college journey because it taught me a lot of skills that you can’t learn in the classroom like leadership, communication and teamwork and those are things I really struggled with,” said Monteiro, who has taken the course three times.

Remarks were also given by David Rutherford, vice president of Institutional Advancement and CEO of The Foundation for Palm Beach State College, who thanked the College’s community partners on this initiative and shared that this was the fourth closet and pantry opening at PBSC.

The closet and pantry were the vision of PBSC District Board of Trustee member Wendy Link after a conversation she had with a student about what additional resources were needed at PBSC.

Tours of the closet and pantry, located in an 887 square foot space in AD 106, were given after the celebration. For more information on the closet, click here. For more information on the pantry, click here.

For photos from the ceremony, click on the image below.


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