A Beautiful Partnership0
Although nationally recognized for the thousands of students it has assisted with tuition, The Kalamazoo Promise (The Promise) is far more than just a scholarship. It is an organization that provides guidance and experience to the next generation of Kalamazoo Public Schools’ graduates.
In summer of 2021, The Promise partnered with global beauty brand Clinique for a six-part series called Connect with Clinique. The program was available to incoming juniors and seniors that were also eligible for The Promise.
“We had lunch and learn sessions every two weeks from June through August that covered topics like trade marketing, field sales, product development, visual merchandising & store design, education, and social media marketing,” said Cyekeia Lee, Director of Community Collaboration for The Promise. “We covered everything in the process of how a product goes from an initial concept to hitting store shelves.”
As a Kalamazoo native, Renee Fahs was no stranger to The Promise. In fact, she had previously been a guest speaker at EmpowerHER where she discussed her role as a Field Executive with The Estée Lauder Companies, where Clinique is one of the brands in its portfolio. This connection played a key role in making Connect with Clinique happen.
“I shared The Promise with Nancy Gannon, our Vice President, Education, Clinique North America and explained to her how unique it is and why it’s important to me,” Fahs said. “She was immediately inspired and wanted to find a way for us to partner.”
With interest from Clinique’s leadership, Fahs and her colleague, Preston Price, Senior Manager Store Design at Clinique, began putting the program together. For Fahs, this was an opportunity to familiarize students with occupations that they may not be aware of.
“The event made me more interested in the business field,” said Kalamazoo Central High School senior Sofia Corla. “There is a whole team that works on these products, and I had never really thought about the different elements from a business perspective.”
Another valuable aspect of this program was the connections it created between students and Clinique’s professionals. Many participants came away from the experience with invaluable guidance.
“I thought it was cool how they had interactive moments where we could ask questions and get advice from the speakers,” Corla said. “They all had unique points of view to share. One of their messages was to not freak out if our path changes. They also talked about how small encounters can make a difference in terms of networking.”
For Lee and her colleagues, the success and popularity of Connect with Clinique is an encouraging sign that The Promise’s sphere of influence is steadily growing.
“This partnership with Clinique demonstrated how connections that are made through The Promise can expand our reach beyond Kalamazoo and the state of Michigan,” Lee shared. “These types of partnerships can help our students reach their full potential.”
Fahs added that this collaboration could blossom to even more opportunities for future Promise Scholars.
“We are looking to expand the partnership into mentorships and other programs,” she revealed. “We have accomplished a lot but there is much more that we would like to do with The Promise.”
It sounds like there is a lot of potential behind this relationship. We are excited to see how it grows. To stay updated on the latest news from each organization, connect with both The Promise and Clinique.