The more you get, the more you give.
That's how GW parents Lauren and Austin Fite feel about philanthropy. Their support of the Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund (KACIF) was inspired by the positive GW experience of their daughter, Lexi Fite, BA '15, who is currently completing a Master of Arts in Media and Strategic Communications in the School of Media and Public Affairs.
KACIF provides grants of up to $3,000 to GW undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing unpaid internships. The fund, established by the GW Career Services Council, is made possible through the generous support of alumni and parents like the Fites.
The real-world experience Lexi gained excelled at GW. The Fites wanted to provide less fortunate students with the same opportunities.
"Internships are so important to Lexi, and I see how critical they are to the educational experience of students at GW," said Lauren. "For students who can't afford an unpaid internship, KACIF makes a difference. It made all the sense in the world to support the fund to help students get out there and get internships."
For Lauren and Austin, it has been a pleasure watching Lexi grow during her four years at the George Washington University. The Fites hail from Southern California, but they were not concerned with Lexi attending school across the country. The District used to be home for Lauren's parents, and Lauren was born at GW Hospital.
"I couldn't have been happier," said Lauren. "There was a certain coming home feel."
In addition to supporting KACIF, the Fites have donated to the School of Media and Public Affairs, the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, and GW's Women Studies Program. The Fites also donate their time to GW — in late July they hosted a GW Summer Send-Off to welcome incoming students and their parents from the Los Angeles area.
Lauren's interest in philanthropy began when she supported a broadcasting program Lexi created in high school. The program, which started as an after school club with one camera, is now an institute at the school.
"That was the first time I got to see philanthropy in action and how you can help people to be the best they can be," said Lauren. "It means a lot to me to support education."
"Internships are so important to Lexi, and I see how critical they are to the educational experience of students at GW. For students who can't afford an unpaid internship, KACIF makes a difference. It made all the sense in the world to support the fund to help students get out there and get internships."
-Lauren Fite, Parent