Cara Leonetti Esposito
Occupation: Executive director of a private foundation
Hometown: Los Angeles
Until recently, Esposito didn’t give her looks much thought. “I’m a nerd,” she says, describing herself as someone who grew up focused on schoolwork. Later, as a county prosecutor, she wore nondescript suits. That changed when her job did. “As an attorney, I prosecuted juveniles. Depressing,” she says. “So when I got the chance to run a foundation with the power to help people on a significant scale, I jumped at it.” Since her new role requires public speaking and meeting with donors, she had to ditch the bland suit and enlist experts to redo her look. Her new uniform: Michael Kors sheaths, barely-there makeup (tinted moisturizer, mascara), chic glasses and a slicked-back chignon (“I still don’t know how to do my hair,” she says). The makeover must be helping, because the foundation is growing. Esposito’s current goal—and the reason she entered the More Beauty Search—is to raise money to build a community center in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, the scene of race riots in the ’60s; at her request, the $5,000 check she won was made out directly to the cause. Her ultimate dream? To change the way Los Angeles treats its underprivileged families, in particular the neglected kids she once faced off against in court.
Next: Behind the Scenes at the Winners' Photoshoot
Related: Watch a behind-the-scenes video from the photoshoot here
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