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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

L’Oréal USA Hosts Mentoring, Career Readiness and Scholarship Presentation Series for Young Women Through New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women’s Annual Role Model Program

Role Model Program Alumna Hazel-Ann Mayers, Esq., Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Simon & Schuster, Inc., delivered Keynote Address

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY, May 16, 2017— During Spring Break last month, L’Oréal USA hosted seven high school and 34 college students at its new Hudson Yards headquarters for the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women’s Annual Role Model Program designed to provide students with a realistic understanding of various professions, to learn practical workplace skills and to allow them to shadow professional women in their chosen careers.

“Our theme this year was ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve,’” said Cecilia Nelson, L’Oréal’s Assistant Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion. “The Annual Role Model Program gives L’Oréal USA an opportunity to showcase one of our core values which is to support programs that empower women and girls by exposing them to information and experiences that help foster their personal and professional development.”

“As part of our multi-year partnership, we are proud to have awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships each year to the Role Model Program students over the past 18 years,” Ms. Nelson noted.

The four-day program included workshops and presentations by professionals in the fields of beauty, social and professional etiquette, dressing for success, social networking, financial literacy, life skills, leadership, personal growth, and presentation skills. The week concluded with a dinner featuring an inspiring keynote by Role Model Program alumna Hazel-Ann Mayers, Esq., Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Simon & Schuster, Inc. Ms. Mayers graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law from the City College of New York and earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

“People sometimes look at me strangely when I say I spend my spring break facilitating our Signature Role Model program; however, as I witness the transformation in the young women over the four days, I know my commitment is worthwhile. We are making a difference in the lives of future leaders. This program truly demonstrates the motto of the Coalition “Leadership By Example,” said Cheryl Green-Foster, President of the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women.

The students participated in an intensive series of professional and personal development workshops that offered information, tools and lessons about the realities of the workplace. The college students spent three full days with mentors while the high school students attended business and cultural presentations, which this year include visits to WBLS-FM and to Black Fashion Designers, an exhibition The Museum at FIT.

The 2017 program began on Monday, April 10 with registration, orientation and an opening reception followed by “Have A Beautiful Day,” a skin, hair care and make-up presentation featuring L’Oréal USA brand executives. Miss Black Georgia USA, Shaunii Rawls, whose mantra is, “I AM, I WILL, AND I CAN,” was the motivational guest speaker. Dinner included a “Dining Etiquette” workshop facilitated by Tatia Adams Fox, Founder and President of The New School of Etiquette.

On Tuesday, April 11, “Professional Development Day,” the college students shadowed mentors in the fields of business, public policy, computer science, medicine, engineering, law, accounting, finance, architecture, and psychology among other careers. The high school students visited WBLS-FM for a tour and lunch hosted by WBLS Community Liaison Samuel W. Fields Public Relations and were given a live, on-air “shout out” during host Shaila Scott’s “Midday with Shaila” program. In the afternoon, the full cohort returned to L’Oréal USA headquarters for the interactive workshops and presentations: “Dress for Success” presented by Keara Richardson, an attorney and fashion consultant; and Social Networking: “Brand You,” presented by Role Model Program alumna Natalee Facey, an empowerment speaker, wellness expert and transformation coach.

On Wednesday, April 12, “Personal Development Day” featured a visit to the Black Fashion Designers exhibition at The Museum at FIT in the afternoon and later in the day, a ‘Money Matters’ workshop from the “Financially Lit” team at Mansa Musa Money led by president Briana Jones and instructor Sam Floyd.

“Personal Development Day” concluded with a presentation by powerhouse life skills, leadership, personal growth and presentation skills coach Dr. Stacie N.C. Grant, Designer & Chief of the multi-media platform Destiny Designers University®, followed by a panel discussion with Asha Boston, filmmaker, Dinner Table Documentary; Ed Bullock, Bullock Innovation Group and former Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion for L’Oréal; Mia Hall, Mia Hall 19; Taquetta Lawrence, The Young Brown Collective; Tuwisha Rogers, One Solution; and Role Model program alumna Tequilla White.

The week of workshops and job shadowing culminated on Thursday, April 13, “Insights Day,” with a closing ceremony, program review and scholarship presentation.

College Scholarship winners were:

  • 1st place—Emily Dickens, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • 2nd place—Joanna Abaraoha, City College of New York (CCNY)
  • 3rd place—Danielle Walker, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Evelyn Payne Davis Scholarship—named in honor of one of the Coalition’s founders and first President and awarded to students who have had to overcome many obstacles in their educational pursuit— went to Emma Sackeyfio, a Harlem native of Ghanaian descent who is a senior at CCNY.

High School Scholarship winners were:

  • 1st  place—Melissa Hidalgo
  • 2nd place—Alexandra Maceda
  • 3rd place—Marianna Diallo

The Role Model Program was co-chaired by Cheryl Green-Foster and Advisory Board member Sharon Long.

L’Oréal USA’s initial grant to the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women in 1999 enabled the expansion of the Role Model Program beyond Manhattan, into Brooklyn and Queens, to students at Medgar Evers College and Queens College. Since then, the program has further expanded to include York College, LaGuardia Community College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and now also includes high school students from Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx.


L’Oréal USA is the largest subsidiary of the L’Oréal Group, the world’s leading beauty company. L’Oréal USA manages a portfolio of more than 30 iconic beauty brands, including Garnier, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Kérastase, Lancôme, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Paris, and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. L’Oréal USA also serves as the international hub for the product development and marketing strategy for L’Oréal’s 18 American brands: Baxter of California, Carol’s Daughter, Clarisonic, Dermablend, Essie, IT Cosmetics, Kiehl’s, Matrix, Maybelline New York, Mizani, NYX Professional Makeup, Pureology, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Redken, Softsheen-Carson, SkinCeuticals and Urban Decay. Generating more than $6 billion in sales annually, L’Oréal USA is committed to growth through sustainable innovation, driven by the company’s Sharing Beauty With All ambition for sustainable development across the Group’s value chain. The company is headquartered in New York City, employs more than 11,000 people, and operates administrative, research, manufacturing and distribution facilities across 14 states, including Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @LOrealUSA.

New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women

The New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women is a non-profit organization addressing social, economic, political, cultural and other issues of concern to Black women in the five boroughs of New York City and beyond. The organization, the founding chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for its members, as well as women and families in the local communities and the larger city, state and nation.  Follow us on Twitter or Instagram and Facebook

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