Participants in Dark & Lovely Program Visit NY

2016 YWWP Winner DesTenee Green pictured with this years semi-finalists.

(Pictured from left to right) DesTenee Green, the first winner of the Young Winner With A Purpose Program is now employed at L’Oreal as a chemist and product developer with two patents; Markeya Banks – FAMU, Bria Jones -Dillard University; Briana Francois – FAMU, Tronlyn Thompson – Howard, Emauri Watson – Clark Atlanta.

Tom Joyner Foundation/Dark and Lovely® Five Semi-Finalists Who Could Win $2,000 Scholarships Participate in NY Program

Students are part of Young Women with a Purpose Project and assigned mentors from L’Oreal USA

The five dynamic semi-finalists who are part of the Tom Joyner Foundation and Dark and Lovely® Young Women with a Purpose Project participated in the Taste of L’Oreal Competition Internship Competition in the company’s New York offices.

Dark and Lovely, a hair care brand for women of color and part of L’Oreal’s Multi-Cultural Beauty Division, hosted the students who are eligible to receive a $2,000 scholarship as part of the project. Each scholar has been assigned a senior-level executive from L’Oreal USA, the parent company for Dark and Lovely®/Softsheen, as a mentor. One winner will be awarded a five-week internship at L’Oreal in NYC, with an estimated value of $4,000. The internship will take place in the summer of 2016.

“This is a great opportunity for these young women to represent Jackson State and my alma mater, Tuskegee,” said Tom Joyner, chairman and founder of the Tom Joyner Foundation. “I know they’re on their way to pursue their dreams, thanks to L’Oreal.”

The five semi-finalists participated in a weekend that included a tour of New York, a series of workshops, meetings with their mentors and senior level L’Oreal executives.

The scholars are:

  • Markeya Banks, junior, computer information systems major at Florida A&M University, from Gardendale, Ala.
  • Briana Francois, junior, business administration major at Florida A&M University from Sunrise, Fla.
  • Bria Jones, junior, political science major at Dillard University, from New Orleans.
  • Tronlyn Thompson, junior, biology major at Howard University, from Arlington, Tenn.
  • Emauri Watson, junior, public relations major at Clark Atlanta University, from Atlanta.

Over the past three months, the students interacted with their mentors via phone conferences and/or Facetime.  In each instance, the mentors critiqued the scholars who competed in the prestigious Taste of L’Oreal Internship Competition.

For more information about the Tom Joyner Foundation, visit or follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube. For more information about Dark and Lovely, visit or follow on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and YouTube. Also, follow the trend with #WEAREDARKANDLOVELY.

About Dark and Lovely:

Dark and Lovely is proudly dedicated to the legacy of serving hair care and styling the needs of African American Women for 45 years. As a subsidiary of the L’Oreal USA Multi-Cultural Beauty Division, Dark and Lovely continues to unveil breakthrough hair innovations for women of color. For more information, visit

About The Tom Joyner Foundation:

The Tom Joyner Foundation ( was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments, and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 20-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, in excess of $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs.


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