Hello Beloved Supporters!

I, Calynn M. Lawrence - Founder of The Fresh Faces Project, have a special announcement about the future of our nonprofit initiative. After careful consideration, there will be no Fresh Faces Project Awards this year. HOWEVER, we will be hosting our FINAL Fresh Faces Project Awards Ceremony next year in the Spring (likely March) to celebrate our TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY since our establishment in 2014. Since our establishment 9+ years ago, we've benefited over 800 individuals and brands and have no plans of stopping any time soon!

After the final ceremony next year, The Fresh Faces Project will be moving towards a completely virtual, foundation model versus the current services provider model.

What does this mean? This means that we will focus our resources primarily on providing funding and supplies to active causes, nonprofit organizations and small businesses that fit our mission through scholarships, donations and stipends to those owned by members of marginalized groups (minorities, women, disabled, LGTBQIA). However, we ourselves will not be throwing any events or offering direct services to the public outside of the opportunity to get a free article on The Fresh Faces Project blog or be interviewed on our video podcast @ChicagoTalentTV .

This difficult decision came at the head of many compromising factors that I had to consider when finding the intersection of maximum impact and minimal lift on both myself and my beloved team of supporters and volunteers.

If you are curious as to what led to this major decision, here is a brief summary:

  • Lack of time on my part to actively plan the FFP Awards continually given my full time job, full time grad school and part time media firm with the Calynn Communications & Creative corporation ❤️ . 
  • Continued issues year over year with last-minute cancellations and no shows to the events, resulting in large amounts of financial loss since we are 100% self-funded from the earnings of Calynn Communications & Creative .
  •  Realizing that we can provide comparable impact in the community for considerably less work by moving towards a foundation model, given that the Fresh Faces Project Awards costs about $4000 a year to host, 4-6 months to plan and hundreds of volunteer hours to execute.
  • Moving away from marketing and media as the main focus of my career with the goal of migrating into the community programming field, working in government. I am aiming towards putting mental health at the foundation of developing low income, BIPOC neighborhoods, once I complete my doctorate degree next year. This will be a very time consuming but rewarding career shift after my decade+ in marketing and media. I feel this will allow me to make a greater difference in my community and put my passions and strengths to great use having a direct influence over the prosperity of under-resourced communities such as the one I grew up in on the Southwest side of Chicago.

Thank you SO MUCH for your involvement with and support of the Fresh Faces Project! We look forward to  going out with a bang next year for our final awards ceremony🙂 !

With the new changes coming soon, I am very confident that shifting towards this model will allow our initiative to continue spreading positivity and providing support and acknowledgement to our target demographic, reach new audiences and further our charitable investments while allowing myself and the team more time and energy to pursue other passions and life commitments.

With love,  

Calynn M. Lawrence


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