Skin care brand Kate Somerville has entered a long-term partnership with Foster Nation, a nonprofit organization that provides career mentorship to foster youth.
Kate Somerville has pledged $100,000 annually to Foster Nation, which will go toward a scholarship fund, which is being arranged by Beauty Changes Lives. Each year, five recipients will be awarded the scholarships to be used for aesthetician school tuition.
Additionally, the brand will be launching an online-exclusive bundle on Sephora.com of its ExfoliKate Cleanser & ExfoliKate Intensive Duo for $88. 10 percent of sales will be donated to Foster Nation.
Somerville said the partnership was a “full circle” moment for her. “This is not a campaign — this is something that’s going to be ongoing for our brand,” she said. “A lot of companies now are searching for social missions, but this is going to be a long-term thing that Kate Somerville does.”
Somerville referenced her own childhood as one of the catalysts for the partnership. “My mom and dad split when I was nine, and my mom became a severe alcoholic and drug user, and I didn’t fit in with my dad’s family,” she said. “I started living with my friends from school and family friends.”
Crediting the generosity of adults in her life for her success, partnering with an organization that provided mentorship was imperative. “When you’re a kid, and you’re just a product of your environment, you’re in a washing machine,” she said. “If I can save one kid and get them a successful life, it’s going to be worth it.”
Foster Nation’s founder, Maggie Lin, had her own experiences in foster care that led to the founding of the nonprofit. “I went through eight different foster placements, and I actually went through the system with my sister. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school that I met someone who was a mentor to me, and she helped me understand that I could choose a path and create a life that I wanted,” Lin said.
Lin added that mentorship is one of the most meaningful resources for foster youth. “It’s so stigmatized, and I think having a cheerleader and a mentor, or just someone who’s in your corner is important,” she said. “We have foster youth submit their stories, and we ask what the one thing they hoped for was when they were emancipated from the foster care system, and 80 percent of them say a mentor.”
“The beauty industry accepts everyone, I had a successful life in the beauty industry and so many of my friends did, too,” Somerville said. “We’re here to mentor the kids so they can have a successful life.”
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