During the pandemic, I started to experiment with simple makeup looks in order to break the monotony of online learning. It was surprising to me what a significant difference a touch of lip gloss or some sparkly eyeshadow could do to my confidence and mood! I knew that I was extremely fortunate to have hygiene products and be able to experiment with cosmetic products, but this is often not the case for teens across the globe. Teenage years are a time of experimentation, and discovering individuality. Makeup is a major art form that people use to express themselves, and I believe that all teens should have access to these products.
In the spring of 2020, I started my 501 © 3 nonprofit organization, Foundation Beauty. Foundation Beauty facilitates the donation of beauty and hygiene products to low-income students. Foundation Beauty does this by partnering with educational non profit organizations that serve low-income teens, who can not currently afford makeup and personal hygieneproducts. Donations are in the form of presorted beauty and hygiene kits that contain a blend of makeup, hygiene, skincare, body care, and hair care products for all genders. I have donated thousands of personally sorted beauty and hygiene kits to students across New York City, Texas, Springfield, and Greenfield areas. However, my reach is limited.
I want to expand Foundation Beauty across the country and world, allowing teens everywhere to feel beautiful and express themselves. My parents have kindly driven me to donations in NewYork City, where I am located and in the towns surrounding Deerfield. However this is not a sustainable option in the future. Although I am not able to drive or fly to distant locations for every donation, I still think that these students deserve the products that Foundation Beauty provides.
This summer, I will be reaching out to more organizations across the globe and using my grant money to pay for the transportation of these products. During June, I have already donated to Global Hands of Hope Uganda, a nonprofit organization that promotes the education of children in the village of Bukeka, Uganda. I was in Uganda for a mission trip with this nonprofit, and thought to use the grant money for the packaging of six large suitcases full of donations. Since these students were on the younger side (13-15), and for all, the first foray into makeup, I did a full face application on all grades 6-7 students that wished, instructing them on the products, before letting them keep them. The smiles and laughs of glee that I saw on these students faces that Saturday were unforgettable as they paraded around their fellow students, showing off theirnew look.
Thank you very much to the Cost family for my CSGC grant award. It means a lot to have your support of my endeavors. Stay posted for an update!
-Isabelle Schwartz ’24