Nothing has ever changed simply because people talked about it. Changing the world requires engaging with it. It’s why we pursue and develop action-oriented partnerships with organizations and communities, both near and far.
Creating Financially Accessible Internships
Internships have become increasingly important as gateways to employment post-graduation. They are also crucial opportunities for students to learn about themselves, identify passions, and enhance career skills. However, often offered with low, or no pay, or in locations that require students to incur additional temporary living expenses, internships remain out of reach for many.
The implications of this arrangement are long-lasting and disproportionately impact students from underserved populations – a group George Mason is very familiar with. In fact, of School of Business students over 40 percent of are the first in their family to attend college, over 30 percent receive Pell Grants, and only 25 percent identify as white Americans.
To address the barriers inherent in the current internship system, B4BW, working in tandem with Career Services, established the Internship Access Award. The program provides funding to students that makes it possible for them to accept unpaid or low-paid internships. It also features fellowships to support students completing unpaid internships throughout the academic year and summer, as well as grants to cover living expenses while students complete an unpaid internship away from home.
In 2020-2021, our second year offering these financial awards, we were able to expand our reach and monetary support by about a third. Through the ongoing generosity of our donors, we were able to award $15,000 to 11 School of Business students this summer. These awards will support our students as they pursue their career aspirations.
The 2021 School of Business Internship Access Award was made available through the generosity of alumni donors, B4Bw, Management Advisory Board, Fairfax County Economic Development Council, Women in Business Initiative, and the office of Career Services.
Improving Health Access for All
Kaiser Permanente has committed $175,000 to the Mason and Partners Clinics and B4BW. This support will enable Mason to serve as the lead anchor partner in a collaborative initiative seeking to remove barriers to health and expand access to the resources needed to thrive for residents in the Bailey’s Crossroads/Culmore neighborhood of Fairfax County, Virginia.
To learn more, visit Our Partners page or, read Kaiser Permanente Grant Will Advance Mason’s Community Health Efforts or Kaiser Permanente Commits $175,000 to George Mason University to Support Social Health in Northern Virginia
HBI operates in both Perú and Colombia, with the goal in mind of using sustainable beekeeping to empower local communities and drive economic development. In Perú, we’ve worked with community beekeepers to establish vertical hives, expand their colonies, create a market for honey and bee-related products, and integrate forest conservation into the community culture. Designed to empower communities through sustainable beekeeping, our work in Colombia was recognized in 2020 as the 15th best overall social and environmental project in Latin America and the Caribbean by the Latinoamérica Verde awards.
Developing Social Businesses
Modeled off of HBI, efforts have begun to establish a social incubator to effect social change by creating projects and social businesses that create employment and generates income for people at or below the poverty level. We plan to provide mentoring, physical space, and seed money.