If I had to pick another career, I would definitely be a teacher. Nothing inspires me more than seeing kids realize their full potential. That’s why when my team and I took a tour of the Broome Street Academy Charter High School, I was completely energized.
Since 2001, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has been a part of the PENCIL Partnership Program, which builds and supports relationships between the business community and principals to inspire innovation and transform public schools. This year, we are continuing our mission by partnering with the Broome Street Academy, which is a tuition-free public charter high school in SoHo that partners with The Door, a youth services organization that has helped kids for over 40 years.
If both organizations sound familiar- it may because I blogged last fall about my friend Liz Murray, author of Breaking Night: My Journey from Homeless to Harvard. As a teenager, Liz found a much-needed support network at The Door. As a way to give other kids the same opportunities for success, Liz helped found the Broome Street Academy. It was through Liz that I was introduced to the organization.
I truly believe that with the right support, all students can achieve anything. So when we visited the school, I couldn’t help but notice how all the kids were having so much fun learning. From the beautiful large wood-floor dance space where the students practice hip-hop, to the art room that’s full of pottery and colorful paintings, everything about the environment was incredibly positive.
My friends know I am always bumping into people from past events – and while walking around Broome Street Academy, I ran into Sara Covey, the Special Education Coordinator, who was in my book Teenage Beauty.
Here is Sara as a teenager in my book-
As luck would have it, she is also the head of the Cosmetology Club there. While I was visiting with the club, a few of the girls told me about their beauty role models – which included Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Although these women have a much different makeup philosophy than my own, I did respect that these girls love role models who are daring and colorful.
After touring the school and speaking with the students and faculty, I was really touched to learn that many of the students are in foster care, or come from unstable homes. They simply would not have the opportunity elsewhere to learn what they do at Broome Street Academy. And since they just recently opened the school, many of the teachers are doing double-duty; for example, the history teacher can become the basketball coach, or the band teacher is also teaching science.
So what’s next? To start, we plan to send much-needed supplies to the school as well as offer seminars by our staff to give the students career advice and insight into the business of makeup. I have also been telling my friends and family how they can help – and if you’ve been inspired by this school as I was, you can go to: http://www.broomestreetacademy.org/donate to find out how you can support them too.
I can’t wait to see what kind of plans we make to help support them in the future, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on this amazing school.