L'Oréal USA supports young women through annual Role Model program

NEW YORK — L'Oréal USA hosted 14 high school and 32 college students at its Fifth Avenue headquarters during spring break as part of its support for the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women's annual Role Model Program. 

This initiative allows young women to learn practical workplace skills and to shadow professional women in their chosen careers for one week during spring semester break. 

"L'Oréal USA values programs that empower women and girls. In 1999, our initial grant enabled the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women to expand its Role Model program beyond the borough of Manhattan, into Brooklyn and Queens, to students of Medgar Evers College and Queens College. Since that time, the program has further expanded to include York College, LaGuardia Community College and others, and now also includes high school girls," stated Antoinette Hamilton, L'Oréal USA's assistant VP diversity and inclusion.

"Today, through our multi-year partnership, we are proud to have contributed more than $300,000 to the Role Model program, including more than $15,000 in scholarships awarded annually to program participants," Hamilton said.

The college students were selected from City College of New York, LaGuardia Community College, Medgar Evers College, Queens College, York College — and new to the Role Model program this year — John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The high school students attended the Women's Academy of Excellence in the Bronx or are members of the Xinos Group of the National Sorority of Phi Beta Kappa in Queens.

The students participate in a series of workshops with professionals who expose them to the realities of the workplace. During the week, the college students spend two full days with mentors while the high school students attend cultural presentations, which this year included viewings of the New York Historical Society's exhibit Martin Luther King The Dream Continues: Photographs and "UMOJA – No Men Allowed" — a documentary screened at the Producers Club.

The week of workshops and job shadowing culminated with a closing ceremony, program review and scholarship presentation, including a keynote address from City University of New York senior vice chancellor and secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson.

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