In the 16th year of the beauty brand’s signature philanthropic program, Ashley Rhodes-Courter and nine other nonprofit leaders will join the L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth class for 2021. Now through November 30, visit womenofworth.com to read their stories and then vote for one woman to be named this year’s National Honoree and receive $25,000 for their non-profit. One vote per day per individual will qualify.
Among the participants is Ashley Rhodes-Courter, representing her charity, the Sustainable Family Foundation in St. Petersburg. The foundation helps bridge service gaps in the community and create greater access to direct services and educational opportunities. The organization is designed to help meet the basic needs of our most vulnerable children. They offer programs such as therapy and counseling, mental health support, back to school supplies (and haircuts), holiday gifts for kids, therapeutic after-school care, summer and spring break camps, and continuing education.
As a foster kid, Rhodes-Courter was adopted after years of abuse and neglect. She chronicled this period of her life in an NYT best-seller, Three Little Words. She’s a foster/adoptive parent herself, a clinical social worker, and a passionate advocate for children and families.
More about the program
All Women of Worth will receive $20,000 in funding to support their endeavors. They will also receive mentorship from the L’Oréal Paris community to build their organizations and a national platform to share their stories. The leader who drives the most votes will be named the National Honoree. They will receive an additional $25,000 in funding for their nonprofit.
To elevate their powerful stories, this year’s honorees will be featured on primetime television with a special L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth broadcast on NBC this fall.
About Ashley Rhodes-Courter
Ashley Rhodes-Courter is the quintessential American success story. Born in 1985 to a single teen mother, by the age of three she was in Florida’s foster care system. She spent almost ten years being shuttled between 14 homes. Some quite abusive—before being adopted from a Children’s Home at the age of twelve.
Despite her ordeal, she excelled in school because she believed that, “my education was the one thing nobody could take from me.” Early in her life she felt compelled to advocate for herself and the other children she lived with, particularly in the abusive foster homes.
Her efforts and academic achievements landed her Eckerd College’s Trustee Scholarship—the school’s most prestigious full-tuition award. She graduated with honors and ahead of schedule earning a double major in Communications and Theater and a double minor in Political Science and Psychology. Ashley then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
During her undergraduate studies, she was one of 20 college students selected for the USA Today All-USA Academic Team. She was also named one of GLAMOUR Magazine’s Top Ten College Women. She was also selected as one of the four Golden BR!CK Award winners for outstanding advocacy for community change by Do Something. As part of their campaign, she was featured on 25 million bags of Cool Ranch Doritos. She was the Youth Advocate of the Year for the North American Council on Adoptable Children, has received the Kids to Kids National Service Award from the Child Welfare League of America, and was the recipient of two Angels in Adoption Awards from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption.
About Women of Worth
For the last 16 years, L’Oréal Paris’ signature philanthropic program, Women of Worth, has brought to life the brand’s iconic tagline, “Because You’re Worth It.” The program champions women whose unwavering resilience, bravery and courage show the power of owning one’s worth.
Each year, ten founders and leaders of grassroots nonprofits are recognized for their work across a breadth of charitable causes. These women receive charitable funding, mentorship through the L’Oréal Paris network to build their organizations and a national platform to share their stories.
In 2020, the program launched its first national primetime special on NBC to spotlight their remarkable stories. The special will return in fall 2021.