Four licensed aestheticians are bringing a new level of comfort and compassion to their careers, courtesy of the Horst M. Rechelbacher Oncology Skincare Advanced Scholarship. Each winner receives a $2,000 scholarship for the Oncology Spa Solution Skincare program, including tuition, travel, and accommodations. Inspired by the Oncology Esthetics-USA Spa training, the scholarship includes a three-day immersive course. The program provides an overview of how cancer affects hair, skin, and nails and how aestheticians can confidently and safely ask the right questions to customize a spa treatment for individuals affected by cancer.
The scholarship honors the legacy of Horst M. Rechelbacher. As founder of the Aveda Corporation and later Intelligent Nutrients, Horst was a pioneer in developing safe, non-toxic, and organic skin care ingredients. His passion for natural ingredients was complemented by a focus on the role aestheticians play in delivering compassionate care to their guests. Each winner submitted a video demonstrating an aesthetic treatment, sharing why they chose a career in skin care, and describing how advanced education will enhance their career. The inaugural scholarship winners are as follows.
An aesthetician for 18 years, Erin Clancy of Milwaukee Area Technical College and About Face Salon and Boutique in Saukville, Wisconsin began working with clients affected by cancer more than 15 years ago at a day spa. “While I didn’t set out to work with cancer patients, I think the universe was trying to tell me that I was supposed to help cancer patients by delivering compassionate aesthetic spa services,” she said in her scholarship video. Clancy applies reiki therapy to provide a sense of peaceful healing to the guests she serves in the spa. She looks forward to applying what she learns at the Oncology Spa Solution program to help not only her guests, but her aesthetic students, as well.
Studying for a master’s degree as a substance abuse counselor, Lora Condon of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, worked in the admissions department of a cosmetology school where she offered to model for an aesthetics facial treatment. “That was my first facial and my Oprah a-ha moment!” said Condon in her application video. Since becoming an aesthetician, she has shared her passion on media platforms including The New York Times and Dr. Oz. “Finding aesthetics is the last piece of the puzzle for my career,” says the self-employed entrepreneur and founder of an organic skin care line. Condon often works in hospice and health care environments and says the reiki treatments and modalities she teaches benefit not only clients, but their caregivers, as well.
Deborah Fink of Paris Beauty College in Concord, California oversees spa services at two senior living facilities, where many residents are living with cancer or are cancer survivors. In her application video, Fink shared that her son’s skin condition first introduced her to the role aestheticians can play in supporting skin health, regardless of age. Regardless of a client’s age, Fink says that any aesthetic service is made even more powerful through the therapeutic benefits of validating, listening, and encouraging her clients.
An aesthetician for 10 years, Danielle Spohr from Renew Day Spa in Garner, North Carolina matches therapeutic techniques and modalities with each client’s unique skin care challenges. Depending on the client’s situation, she may use aromatherapy, hot stones, or slow-motion techniques. Prior to becoming an aesthetician, Spohr worked for a large retail brand and was involved in testing the company’s skin care lines. In her application video, she noted that oncology skin care will bring another valuable skillset to the skin care services she offers clients.
The Horst M. Rechelbacher Oncology Skincare Advanced Scholarship is generously funded by the Horst M. Rechelbacher Foundation.