School resource officer boosts students self esteem with free on-campus clothing boutique

A St. Petersburg school resource officer not only protects students, but also boosts their self-esteem with a special store inside Gibbs High School. 

St. Petersburg Police School Resource Officer Grace Albritton is doing her duty to serve and protect students at Gibbs High School. 

"Walk the halls and make sure that they are safe," said Albritton. 

But she has also taken on another job, one to help students in a different way. She started "Gibbs Grab N Go Boutique," a free clothing store at the school for students. 

"I started this because I saw the need in the school, working with the kids every day here and seeing the kids and the need," Albritton explained. 

She started with a few items. Now, she has a classroom full of clothes. 

"From the coworkers and the teachers and with me letting them know, ‘Hey, we're in need and this is what I need’, and everyone responding, Yeah. I mean, this is way more than I expected." 

The boutique has everything from shirts, pants, suits, toiletries, even formal wear. "They can take as much as they need. I encourage them to get a bag, take whatever you want, even if their family mean anything. Come get it," said Albritton. 

Albritton is also a Gibbs graduate. 

"Went here all four years. Played sports here and everything was also on PCCA, which is the performing arts as well," she stated.  

She says clothing is important for kids at any age.  

"I remember being that kid where, you know, you're embarrassed. You know, peers and just the little things like deodorant or wearing the same clothes and all this dirty. You know, you can't really focus on education," Albritton stated. 

She's helping create a positive experience for students to succeed in school. 

Gibbs alumni volunteer three days a week to help organize donations.