Recently, L’Oréal USA gave 10 high school and 28 college students an opportunity to learn practical workplace skills and shadow a few professional women in the beauty industry. The New York City-based mentoring and career readiness program was launched in support for the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women’s annual Role Model Program.
“This year’s theme was ‘Engage, Educate, Empower,’” said Cecilia Nelson, L’Oréal’s assistant vice president of diversity & inclusion. “One of L’Oréal USA’s core values is support for programs that empower women and girls.”
Throughout the week, students experienced a broad range of opportunities. From two full days with mentors and professional and personal development workshops to expose them to the realities of the workplace, to a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian, WBLS-FM, and an “Immersion” at ESSENCE magazine.
The 2016 program kicked off with “Have A Beautiful Day,” a skin care, haircare and make-up presentation featuring L’Oréal USA brands Carol’s Daughter; Soft Sheen Carson; Garnier; and Maybelline New York, followed by a “Dining Etiquette” workshop facilitated by L’Oréal’s Director of Food Services and Event Planning, Aleksandar Kiprovski.
On succeeding days, L’Oréal USA hosted interactive workshops and presentations on “Dress for Success,” presented by Keara Richardson, an attorney and fashion consultant; Social Networking: “Brand You,” presented by Shanice Parker, CEO, Blitz Productions; and “Money Matters,” presented by Sandy Smith of Say Yes Media; and The Dinner Table documentary workshop by Asha Boston, president and CEO of Passion Fruit Vineyard Productions. Special guest appearances were made by popular fashion and beauty bloggers Claire Sulmers, founder of Fashion Bomb Daily and Deepica Mutyala of Deepicam.com.
“In addition to our multi-year partnership, we are proud to have awarded more than $15,000 in scholarships annually to the Role Model program students,” Ms. Nelson noted.
According to a press release statement, the Role Model program has some notable success stories among former mentees who return to the annual event to encourage and provide an example of the benefit of the program to the students. Natalee Facey, an advertising professional who participated in the Role Model Program in 2010, spoke at the opening ceremony; Raven Robinson, also a 2010 participant, was a panelist following the documentary screening, and Kemoy Harris, MD, who participated in 2007, addressed the young women at the closing ceremony.
“We had another exceptional program this year and from the early feedback of the participants, we have definitely exceeded our goal of helping these young women to be their best selves and to embrace their power as they chart their unique paths,” said Avalyn Simon, president of the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women.