$5M gift enables more first-generation and low-income Georgetown students to experience summer internships

A newly expanded summer program at Georgetown University provides first-generation and low-income undergraduates with financial and programmatic support as they participate in summer internships. This summer’s session has been adapted to ensure everyone’s safety during the ongoing health crisis, with students living around the world—rather than only in Washington, D.C.—and participating in remote internships.

The Idol Family Fellowship Program was made possible by a $5 million gift from the Idol Family Foundation. John Idol, father of Christina (C’14), is a former member of the Board of Directors, Board of Regents, and College Board of Advisors. “Our family believes that education and access to professional development opportunities that serve as a training ground for future employment will help create advantages for first-generation students at Georgetown,” shares Idol.

“As a University committed to the formation of our students, we remain deeply grateful for the enduring leadership of John and the entire Idol family and their shared dedication to making these extraordinary learning experiences possible for our students, regardless of socioeconomic background,” says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia.

“The expansion of this program, a reflection of the Idol family’s thoughtful engagement and vision, provides greater opportunities for our students to develop and reach their fullest potential.”

Alleviating financial stress, identifying opportunities

By assisting students with high financial need as they identify internship opportunities and providing financial support to help students manage the costs of living in Washington, D.C., for the summer, the Idols hope to help a diverse group of students seize opportunities that will enrich their professional and personal development.

While this summer’s program is operating virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in future summers, the participants will commute, share housing, and attend social events together. 

The Idol Family Fellowship Program also is collaborating with the larger Capitol Applied Learning Labs (CALL) initiative run by Georgetown’s Designing the Future(s) of the University initiative. This partnership will provide each fellow with access to professional development seminars, networking opportunities, mentoring, community service options, and off-campus social events while they undertake a full-time internship.

“The generosity of the Idol family gift allows us to seamlessly bring together two strategic priorities of the university,” says Randall Bass, who leads the Designing the Future(s) of the University initiative. “We can support first-generation students in achieving equity of experience in all that Georgetown has to offer and also advance the development of the CALL and the Capitol Campus as a key location where our students can meet the world, and develop both professionally and personally as future leaders.”

Read more about the Idol Family Fellowship Program.

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