Four licensed estheticians 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 estheticians 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 estheticians play in delivering compassionate care to their guests.

Each winner submitted a video demonstrating an esthetic treatment, sharing why she chose a career in skin care and describing how advanced education will enhance her career. The inaugural scholarship winners are as follows:

Erin Clancy
Erin Clancy

Erin Clancy, Milwaukee Area Technical College/About Face Salon & Boutique, Saukville, Wis.

An esthetician for 18 years, Erin 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 esthetic spa services,” she says in her scholarship video. Erin 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 esthetic students.

Lora Condon
Lora Condon

Lora Condon, Scotch Plains, N.J.

Studying for a master’s degree as substance abuse counselor, Lora worked in the admissions department of a cosmetology school where she offered to “model” for an  esthetics facial treatment. “That was my first facial and my Oprah aha moment!” says Lora in her application video. Since becoming an esthetician, she has shared her passion on media platforms including The New York Times and Dr. Oz. “Finding esthetics is the last piece of the puzzle for my career,” says the self-employed entrepreneur and founder of an organic skincare line. Lora often works in hospice and health care environments and says the Reiki treatments and modalities she teaches benefit not only patients but their caregivers.

Deborah Fink
Deborah Fink

Deborah Fink, Paris Beauty College, Concord, Calif.

Deborah oversees spa services at two senior living facilities, where many residents are living with cancer or are cancer survivors. In her application video, Deborah shares that her son’s skin condition first introduced her to the role estheticians can play in supporting skin health regardless of age. Regardless of a guest’s age, Deborah says that any esthetic service is made even more powerful through the “therapeutic” benefits of validating, listening and encouraging her guests.

Danielle Spohr

Danielle Spohr, Renew Day Spa, Garner, N.C.

An esthetician for 10 years, Danielle matches therapeutic techniques and modalities with each guest’s unique skincare challenges. Depending on the client’s situation, she may use aromatherapy, hot stones or slow motion techniques. Prior to becoming an esthetician, Danielle worked for a large retail brand and was involved in testing the company’s skincare lines. In her application video, she notes that oncology skincare will bring another valuable skill set to the skincare services she offers guests.

The Horst M. Rechelbacher Oncology Skincare Advanced Scholarship  is generously funded by the Horst M. Rechelbacher Foundation. More information on the scholarship is available here.  

About Beauty Changes Lives

Beauty Changes Lives is a nonprofit driven to make the beauty profession a first-choice career by empowering individuals with mentorship, inspiration and scholarships. Beauty Changes Lives works with leaders across specialties to sponsor scholarships, foster mentorships and provide the stage on which to showcase our individual and industry impact. Learn more at or find us on Facebook and Instagram.