Last Monday, the world’s number one beauty brand, L’Oréal Paris, announced the winners of its Women of Worth philanthropic program, rewarding ten inspiring women with $10,000 to support their non-profit organizations.
Among them is Marta Michelle Colon and her national program, Be Gutsy, which has become one of the most important Latinx initiatives in bilingual education on opioid use risks.
“Being celebrated as a Women of Worth is a validation that we can transform negative experiences into positive impact for others,” she said about the recognition. “Becoming a Woman of Worth amplifies my reach to speak openly about how the prescription opioids epidemic is impacting our Latinx community. I feel more empowered to continue developing a central strategy that includes education, access, communication — rather than shame, stigma, punishment, and harm.”
Be Gutsy was born as one of Colon’s ways to deal with personal grief after her brother died from opioid misuse after a motorcycle accident.
As she told BeLatina in 2019, Be Gutsy’s name is directly translated by the Spanish phrase that states “ten agallas,” a play on words that refer to what many young adults have told Colon about what it takes to deal with the use of opioids.
Be Gutsy focuses on teaching its content by guiding teens and young adults’ growing social skills and directing them toward the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This program promotes its information through worksheets, workshops, the arts, and long-term support.
The national campaign focuses on raising awareness and educating the Latinx community about the different ways that drug abuse impacts families and ways to prevent it.
The platform’s people-centered approach addresses opiate misuse among Latinx youth by building emotional intelligence and social skills. In two years, Be Gutsy directly impacted over 5,500 young adults and indirectly reached tens of thousands more through health fairs and medical programs.
The 2020 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth will be featured in a first of its kind dedicated one-hour NBC special, airing nationwide on Wednesday, November 25, at 8 PM ET / 7 PM CT. The broadcast will bring together L’Oréal Paris’ notable roster of spokeswomen to highlight each Honoree’s unique mission and bring their inspirational experiences to life.
“This year has given us a greater appreciation and respect for those who dedicate their lives to serving their communities. That’s why it’s more important than ever that the L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth platform continue to shine a spotlight on the tenacity and courage of women who are tackling injustice and channeling painful experiences into something truly beautiful and worthy,” said Ali Goldstein, L’Oréal Paris USA President. “In the fifteenth anniversary year for the program, we are honored to welcome the 2020 Women of Worth into our family, helping to elevate their stories and bring additional resources to their communities.”