Hannah Grosvenor, ESIA ’19, and Colleen Kelty, GSEHD M.A. ’18, pitched an idea to the Luther Rice Society Advisory Council and won a $20,000 award earmarked for student laptop computers and classroom answer clickers.
To most people, the term “Freshman 10” calls to mind LOTS of pizza, late-night study snacks, and one-too-many trips to the vending machines. For students like Hannah Grosvenor, ESIA ’19, it means something entirely different. During her first year of college, Hannah lost more than 10 pounds because she couldn’t afford to buy enough to eat.
Then she discovered The Store. An on-campus food bank established in 2016, The Store helps support the approximately 44 percent of GW students who experience ‘food insecurity.’ Hannah now serves as vice president of The Store and, because she was willing to share her own story in a presentation to the Luther Rice Society Advisory Council (LRSAC), The Store was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the LRSAC giving circle, a $20,000 award earmarked for student laptop computers and classroom answer clickers.
“We were truly touched by [Hannah’s] story about how The Store changed her life,” says Philip Leibow, GWSB B.B.A. ’87, M.Accy. ’89, and LRSAC Co-Chair. “Her bravery touched us all. No student at a university like GW should have to be worried about where the next meal will come from.”
The Store serves more than 730 shoppers, which puts the staff in a unique position to identify obstacles that might prevent cash-strapped students from succeeding. “We thought a laptop/clicker program would be incredibly beneficial after hearing stories from shoppers who struggled to have these essential tools for classes,” says Hannah. Modeled on a pilot program conducted by the Center for Student Engagement (CSE), Hannah felt they could reach an even wider audience through The Store.
Because of the LRSAC gift, The Store will be able to loan a significant number of laptops and clickers to students who need them. The devices will be available for one year with the option to renew so students can count on using a single laptop throughout their college careers.
“Students facing food insecurity often face other expensive hurdles, such as a laptop crashing or a class unexpectedly requiring a clicker for full credit,” says Colleen Kelty, GSEHD M.A. ’18, CSE Department Operations Supervisor, and advisor to the student organization that manages The Store. “We are incredibly proud to be able to offer laptops and clickers for our shoppers, and are so thankful to the Luther Rice Society for the award.”
The Luther Rice Society Advisory Council was established to support the university and to help grow the next generation of major donors by promoting annual giving among its alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends of the university. Advisory Council members serve as advisors and ambassadors for the Luther Rice Society and demonstrate leadership by making a financial commitment to the university–in this case, a gift to The Store.
“The members of the LRSAC want to make a difference at GW,” says Philip. “The Store is a must-have resource and we are excited to use our giving circle dollars to help. I am hopeful that other alumni will see the impact we can have and join the LRSAC.”
If you'd like to help fight food insecurity at GW, please consider donating to The Store.