Kate Somerville has revealed the first group of winners of its annual scholarship program.
The program, which Kate Somerville unveiled last year, entails the brand donating $100,000 annually to Foster Nation, a nonprofit that mentors youth in foster care. That funding awards scholarships for students in foster care to attend beauty school. This year’s five winners have been enrolled at institutions including the Paul Mitchell, Aveda and Marmel Beauty Academies.
Said Joanna Garcia, one of the scholarship winners, in a statement, “Self-sufficiency is important to me. I’m excited to get my aesthetics license and be able to use my passion in pursuing a career I love, rather than one that poverty forces me to take.”
The remainder of the recipients asked to remain anonymous.
In addition to announcing the 2021 scholarship winners, the brand has released a limited-edition version of its ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, featuring artwork by former foster youth Laura Bush. “Butterflies symbolize freedom and having gone through transformation. I added an eye because I’m always looking towards a better future,” said Bush in a statement.
United by a shared goal of empowering foster youth as they age out of the system by providing resources, career training and mentorship, Kate Somerville and Foster Nation teamed in July 2021 to unveil the launch of the Defy Impossible Esthetics Scholarships.
With the help of Beauty Changes Lives, a nonprofit organization that provides support for aspiring beauty entrepreneurs, Kate Somerville selected and enrolled this year’s scholarship recipients at leading beauty schools in California. Together the three companies aim to show foster youth that they are capable of accomplishing their goals — whatever those might be.
“There is a way out; you can become successful and it doesn’t just have to be just being an aesthetician, or a hairstylist or makeup artists,” said Somerville. “Reuben [Carranza, chief executive officer of Kate Somerville] and the team have taken on so many of the kids that want to go into marketing, or influencing — there are just so many avenues in the beauty industry.”
Having navigated a tumultuous family situation and housing instability herself as a child, Somerville feels passionate about providing for others the same guidance and mentorship that was offered to her growing up. “Aesthetics saved my life,” said Somerville. “These are kids who have hopes, have dreams and just need someone to help them, and that’s what we’re committed to doing.”
Candidates for the 2022 scholarship program ages 18 and over can apply on beautychangeslives.org beginning June 1.
FOR MORE FROM WWD.COM, SEE:
Kate Somerville Enters the U.K., China and Ulta Beauty
Kate Somerville, Foster Nation Team Up for Scholarship Fund