L'Oreal Paris announces start of annual Women of Worth awards

NEW YORK — L’Oreal Paris is once again celebrating those women who are making extraordinary differences in the communities each day through its eighth annual Women of Worth program.

The program has honored 70 inspiring women for their selfless dedication to volunteerism and charitable efforts. This year, L'Oreal Paris is partnering with brand spokesperson Lea Michele to help select 10 inspiring women to join the 2013 Women of Worth roster.

More than 40 years ago, L'Oreal Paris' iconic brand philosophy "Because I'm Worth It" was launched to celebrate a woman's worth and self-esteem. This signature phrase came to life eight years ago in a new way when L'Oreal Paris established Women Of Worth — a program that honors everyday women who are passionate about making an extraordinary difference in their communities. The program seeks nominees who embody this philosophy through their commitment to a variety of social causes.

"The iconic 'Because I'm Worth It' tagline was written by a fearless, passionate woman with a creative, independent vision," stated L'Oreal Paris president Karen Fondu. "Our past Women Of Worth honorees also share a unique vision for improving lives and communities across the country. I am excited to once again identify and honor ten exceptional women and be inspired by their stories."

Since 2006, the Women Of Worth program has honored and celebrated 70 inspiring women. Past honorees have been involved in a diverse array of causes. They have advocated for victims of childhood abuse, mentored homeless youth to help break the cycle of poverty and empowered teens with disabilities. These Women Of Worth have selflessly devoted themselves to causes at the local and national level, and have motivated others to get involved.

Following their Women Of Worth recognition, past honorees have gone on to receive additional accolades including the Significant Awareness Presidential Service Medal, the National Integris Community Hero award and the Top Ten CNN Hero award. In addition, awareness of honorees' charities has increased resulting in organizational growth of up to 1,000%, and additional support through volunteerism and donations. In the coming weeks, L'Oreal Paris will profile some of these past honorees to inspire and share what it means to be a Woman Of Worth.

The Women Of Worth nomination period is now open and runs through June 14. New this year, nominations will be organized into five groups by decades, recognizing women across a wide range of ages: 18 to 29 year olds, 30 to 39 year olds, 40 to 49 year olds, 50 to 59 year olds, and 60 and older. Two winners will be chosen from each age group.

Ten honorees will be selected by a private panel of judges, with each woman receiving $10,000 for her charitable cause. The public will then be invited to vote online for the woman they find most inspiring. This woman will be named the 2013 National Honoree and will receive an additional $25,000 for her charity. All 10 honorees will be recognized at an awards ceremony and dinner hosted by L'Oreal Paris in New York City this December.

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