Face Forward LA | Empower And Advocate For Change

Face Forward aims to empower those affected in a positive way but also encourage them to raise their voices as well as becoming an advocate for change.

Please show your support and join FaceFowardLA’s star-studded La Dolce Vita-themed gala at the Beverly Wilshire on September 22, 2018, hosted by award-winning actor Jeremy Piven with Grammy award-winning artist Ne-Yo as the headlining performer. Tickets, which will benefit domestic violence and human trafficking victims, can be purchased here: www.ladolcevita2018.org

More about the amazing Angels in Disguise and their charity FaceForward in the article below. 

Founded by Deborah and Dr. Alessi in 2007, Face Forward is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization located in Beverly Hills, CA that provides free reconstructive surgery and emotional support to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and cruel acts of crime. Starting with just a couple of patients then, it has grown to now treating patients from around the globe and donating over a million dollars in pro bono services to survivors over the past ten years.

David and Deborah Alessi, founders of Face Forward | Photography courtesy of Face Forward LA

Due to her extensive marketing expertise and her passion for this cause, Mrs. Alessi, along with her husband Dr. Alessi, a renowned plastic reconstructive surgeon, are a perfect team to help survivors thrive after suffering from these terrible forms of abuse.

Dr. David Alessi has established a world-class practice over the past 23 years. Specializing in both Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery and Head and Neck disorders, he is double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and The American Board Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Extensively published, he is the doctor’s doctor, having given over 200 lectures on sinus surgery, facial rejuvenation and voice disorders. He spent several years as chief of the division at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is a clinical assistant professor at UCLA and Cal State LA.

For many years, he took care of many indigent trauma patients when they had no other doctor to turn to for reconstruction. Mrs. Alessi realized that, although these patients could be physically repaired, there was an inadequate support system for aftercare. Dr. and Mrs. Alessi founded Face Forward to provide such care to get survivors back into society as productive individuals.

Dr. Alessi serves as both the Co-founder of Face Forward and Director of its Physician Advisory Board. He also serves as an active Advisory Member of the Cosmetic & Reconstructive Support Program (CRS™) of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which was created to connect survivors of domestic violence to medical associations and professionals.

Mrs. Deborah Alessi is a Scottish-born businesswoman, who before coming to the United States, worked at the top of the aviation industry.  She was trained at Glasgow University where she received an advanced degree in business management. She entered the working world and moved to the Middle East where she began to work for the Royal Family of Bahrain. Working in private aviation, Mrs. Alessi advanced rapidly through the ranks to manage the family’s fleet of private aircraft. Her experience in the job included extensive travel and exposure to the finest of products, services and etiquette. She now holds the position of CEO of Face Forward.

The values applied to Face Forward are Human Rights, Anti-Violence and Empowerment. The organization aims to empower those affected in a positive way but also encourage them to raise their voices as well as becoming an advocate for change. As a result, Face Forward connects the spiritual and physical wellbeing through emotional support and surgical care. It is a truly life-changing experience that not only helps survivors heal from within and out but also raises awareness in the world.

While sharing their passion to help victims, Mrs. and Dr. Alessi discovered that they not only work well as a couple but also as business partners. Face Forward is one of their greatest accomplishments in their life,  which showed them that a little really does go a long way.

Face Forward started as a small charity with the first gala event hosting just 40 guests to recently 500 guests at the September 2017 gala in support of this cause. Thanks to its continued growth and some amazing partnerships that the organization has developed over the years, Face Forward is now offering support to survivors worldwide.

The founders feel a great sense of gratitude, love and joy when they witness the transformation of traumatized victims who first walk into their office with their heads held low, not wanting to look them in the eye. After surgery and emotional treatment sessions, however,  patients become more confident and start smiling again with their heads held high.

One recent case that stands out as a continuing success story is about their patient Nico. Nico is an orphan who came to Face Forward through a partnership with an orphanage called New Hope Children in Kenya.  He and his five siblings had a rough start in life, losing their parents and living in a landfill in Kenya before being rescued. Years later, Nico was attacked by two of his teachers, who hit him with a machete on the head and face, knocked out several of his teeth and scarred his face. When he arrived in Los Angeles, he did not want to smile because he was so embarrassed by the way his mouth looked. Face Forward literally gave Nico back his smile, replacing his teeth, repairing the scars on his face and giving him hope for the future. He returned to Kenya dancing, singing and smiling from ear to ear.  But beyond that, while he was in the U.S. for treatment, Nico was offered the opportunity to attend an agricultural internship program in Texas where he could learn to grow sustainable crops for his village in Kenya. The Face Forward team took the extra steps to ensure Nico was able to return for this opportunity by connecting him with the team at Random Acts that awarded Nico a grant to cover his expenses during his internship. In addition,  the organization’s airline sponsor Etihad Airways flew him back out to the U.S. for his follow-up medical appointments and to begin his internship in Texas. Mrs. and Dr. Alessi are expecting to see young Nico accomplish many more amazing things in his life while being proud to be a part of his continued successful journey.   

Face Forward has been honored to be named one of the top-rated nonprofit organizations by Greatnonprofits.org. for the last three years. In the future, Face Forward envisions to have houses set up in several countries around the world where their patients would stay for surgical treatments and recovery.  The goal is to provide care to five to ten patients at a time with a network of thousands of doctors around the globe donating their time and services to help change even more lives.  

Faceforwardla.org |
Cover photo by Quinn Buffing | Unsplash.com