LCC student to be White House intern
By Maddy Warren
Editor In Chief
An LCC student will soon be the first autistic White House intern.
Xavier DeGroat, founder and CEO of The Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation, will begin an internship in Washington D.C., Monday, Sept. 14.
“It’s an honor to be offered … an internship at the White House,” DeGroat said. “I never predicted (it) would happen.”
DeGroat is in his third year at LCC. He is majoring in business administration.
He credited his friend, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Giuliani’s son Andrew, who is the public liaison assistant to President Donald Trump, for advocating and opening this door up for him.
At the White House, DeGroat will be advocating for new legislation, with a focus on issues relating to law enforcement interacting with those on the spectrum; specifically with Homeland Security and the FBI.
“It will be a dream come true for CEO (DeGroat) to have the chance to experience a variety of historical moments and activities all across the White House this fall, especially … with COVID-19 … (and a presidential) election year,” said John Truscott, who is DeGroat’s PR agent.
DeGroat will be working under the press secretary, helping to file media coverage and messaging people in the national press.
He will also be taking and developing photos for officials in the White House Photo Office, and working with First Lady Melania Trump’s office, to help assist her in public occasions.
At age 4, DeGroat was diagnosed with autism. Throughout his life, he has experienced discrimination, economic and job setbacks, and educational difficulties.
DeGroat started his foundation in 2018. Its mission is to create and promote opportunities for people with autism.
He has dedicated his life to helping those with autism achieve success, and works to create a society that better understands autism.
Toni Glasscoe, LCC associate vice president of external affairs and development, has known DeGroat for two years. She said she is proud to know him, and is overjoyed for his internship.
“(DeGroat) understands politics and issues that impact those for which he advocates,” Glasscoe said. “I think Xavier will be a strong voice in the White House … this will be a great opportunity for Xavier, and it will be a learning experience for everyone in the White House.
“Xavier is a positive force and he knows how to get into “good trouble.”
DeGroat said he hopes to earn a full-time position at the White House after the conclusion of the internship. But at minimum, he would like to work at a corporate office that does community projects and helps improve the economy.
To learn more about DeGroat and his foundation visit www.xavierdegroatfoundation.org