Fitzie’s friends came from a remarkably broad range of backgrounds and represented an incredibly wide variety of interests. All those who contribute to the Foundation’s endowment become “Friends of the Fitzie Foundation.”

As the Foundation has matured, many former award recipients themselves have chosen to become “Friends of the Foundation,” further enriching this unique network with their own character, enthusiasm, and experiences. Through the support of the Friends, the Fitzie Foundation has made grants of $382,000 to 100 girls and young women since its inception in 1986. Many recipients believe that these unique Fitzie grants are life changing for them. For a number of the older recipients, the grants provide them the time, space and experiences that serve to focus them more clearly on how they want to make an impact in the world. The Trustees are grateful to the Friends of the Foundation and to the four schools attended by Fitzie for their support. Their commitments help ensure that Fitzie’s life continues to positively impact others, and that the Foundation continues to have the opportunity to help outstanding girls and young women pursue one of their most important goals: to make a difference in the world.

It has been a while since I have updated you on where in the world I am. I think about Fitzie and the foundation often and it always makes me smile to know that I have this incredible resource to put towards my interests! Last you heard from me I was playing basketball in Belgium as well as taking an oil painting class (with the support of my prize money, thank you!). I had a fantastic year overseas – I re-connected with family, I improved my Dutch, I experienced a different culture and in doing that learned a new appreciation for certain aspects of the American culture. And most of all, I was able to pursue painting! It was just an intro class and I feel like I made only a dent in the painting world, but I learned so much about how to really look at the world around me. The basketball season ended in April and I though I enjoyed my year very much, I realized that I was itching to get some work experience before starting to think about graduate school programs (likely for design – architecture or planning, etc). So, I have started a job at a non-profit organization in New York City called Civic Builders ( They do real estate development for charter schools in New York City. I chose the organization because of the experience in development and project management that it would give me – two good bases of experience for a potential career in architecture. Christiana Lackner, 2006 Harvard College award recipient

I am working with the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council here in Anchorage, and very much enjoying the work I get to do! My role in the organization is currently in advocacy (and, as you’d expect in a nonprofit, various commitments for strategic planning, organizational structure, and grantwriting), but I love seeing how many different programs exist and thrive within the same group. It’s nice to have co-workers doing work that is so far over my head, and I know I have both a lot to learn and a lot to contribute during my time here.

Faon O’Connor

2007 Harvard College award recipient

I am writing you today to express my utmost gratitude for your gift that enabled me to fulfill a lifetime dream of mine: working on Capitol Hill. If it were not for the inspiration that the Fitzie Foundation instilled within me during my stay at Dana Hall, I would not have the ability to dream of such prestigious internship opportunities such as the one I was able to land in the Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The Fitzie Foundation gave me a base on which I could do something that I could otherwise never do, and will most likely never have the opportunity to do again.

I would like to let you know, however, that I took heavy advantage of my internship. I lived in a place where I knew no one, and spent much time travelling to and from work. The Senate is a wonderful place to work, and who better to get an internship with than the second oldest member of the Senate. Senator Kennedy has a wonderful staff, and an even better internship program. I worked long hours, writing constituent letters, filing mail, writing responses to the thousands of get well letters he received while ill, and attended hearings and briefings. The effect this job had on me was phenomenal; even when I felt I was doing the most mundane of tasks I was learning something, learning about what the people of Massachusetts want and need, and how Congress addresses these problems.

I just want to make sure you know that without this funding, I would have never been able to go to D.C. The Fitzie Foundation is an organization that stands for providing opportunities that would otherwise not be available to someone, and for me, this is one. I would love to one day travel, explore, and enjoy life’s benefits without the worry of money, but I do not see that in the near future. My true passion is helping others, and in the Senate I was able to see how we are represented as people to our government, and if I am lucky, one day I hope to take a seat there as well. Again, thank you for this opportunity, and I appreciate your support so much.

Vanessa Brown

2006 Dana Hall School award recipient