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L'Oreal Thompson Payton

Director of Communications, OneGoal

Chicago

As an award-winning writer, public speaker, communications executive and mentor, L’Oreal Payton’s personal passion for youth empowerment and quest to serve as a voice for the underrepresented has shaped every facet of her fast-rising career.

In her role as Director of Communications for OneGoal, a national college access and success organization, Payton works internally with educators and externally with top-tier media to raise awareness about the continuing “college degree divide” and demonstrate OneGoal’s efficacy in solving for the problem.

The Baltimore native joins OneGoal after two years with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, where she was quickly promoted from Media Relations Manager to Director of External Affairs. One of the secrets to Payton’s success is her decade of experience as a decorated journalist.

Payton draws creativity and content development skills from roles within notable outlets including the Baltimore Sun Media Group, where she won awards from the state’s press association before moving to Chicago to join the team at the iconic JET magazine. At JET, Payton worked directly with the publication’s Editorial Director to translate the brand’s storied print presence into a strong digital platform by attracting and retaining a network of talented online contributors while balancing social media strategy and execution.

Payton continues to make her mark on the media landscape as a go-to writer for a range of outlets: the teen-focused Sesi magazine, HelloGiggles, and Brit + Co, just to name a few. She also shares vital career and networking tips via other platforms, both as a frequent podcast guest and as a panelist for experiential initiatives such as SheSays Chicago, General Assembly, and Glappitnova (aka the Chicago answer to SXSW).

A respected social media influencer and author-on-the-rise, her blog (LTintheCity.com) and accompanying newsletter offer inspirational advice and job opportunities to a growing number of subscribers and followers. This communications dynamo further distinguishes herself through numerous philanthropic efforts, having volunteered for mentorship-focused Polished Pebbles, GirlForward and Step Up.

A graduate of Loyola University Maryland, she has been recognized for her diverse accomplishments by respected organizations such as Global Girls Inc., which presented her the Girl Power award in 2017. She also earned a coveted spot on Mater Mea’s “18 Black Women We Think Are Phenomenal” list alongside such standouts as Emmy-winning filmmaker Lena Waithe.

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