Robert F. Smith’s Quest to Provide Opportunities for African American Students Expands with the Launch of Fund II Foundation’s internXL

The re-branded internXL digital platform continues to build on its mission to give students of color a leg up in their careers through paid internships and free career-readiness training.

WASHINGTON--()--Today, the internXL digital platform announced its commitment to provide quality jobs for the next generation of Black innovators with free training courses and certifications from corporations such as Cisco and Accenture.

Across the United States, students who have internships on their resumes are more likely to land full-time jobs after graduation. Yet, on average, only 6.6 percent of Black students and 7.9 percent of Latino students have participated in paid internships, compared to 74 percent of white students. At the same time, both groups are overrepresented when it comes to unpaid internships.

Recognizing this equity gap in our nation’s workforce — internXL (previously internX) provides organizations of all types, including Fortune 500 companies, access to pre-screened, diverse, entry-level talent. Currently, over 220 companies and over 16,000 pre-screened students are registered partners and participants on the internXL platform. Over 1,300 courses are offered as a part of a tiered Learning Management System (LMS) within the platform, providing candidates with the opportunity to obtain certifications in a variety of subjects and skills, including the cloud, cybersecurity, Salesforce, and project management, amongst others.

The LMS also offers mental health support, tips on how to dress for success, and even guidance on how to prepare healthy meals — all aimed to prepare students for career-changing internships that can lead to long-term professional success.

To support this mission, internXL will be visiting HBCU campuses throughout the 2022-23 academic year to provide students with free career-readiness training and resources to better prepare them for their unique internship experiences. This initiative will build off of internXL’s March 2022 investment of $15,000 to Tuskegee University, which provided professional headshots and attire to Tuskegee students going through the internship and job application process.

The impact of this initiative has been a game-changer for The Career Education and Leadership Development Center at Tuskegee University,” said Mr. Walter P. Cooper, Sr., Director at Tuskegee University. “The internXL team saw a need and immediately acted to bring forth transformational change not only through their own professional resources but with financial support.”

Robert F. Smith, Founding Director and President of Fund II Foundation, and Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, an internXL partner company, also sees this as a matter of national competitiveness and security: “If America is to remain competitive in the rising global digital economy, business and academia must collaborate to engage diverse talent,” said Smith. “We built – to create pipelines and opportunities for minority students to work with many of the top tech companies in the world, providing experiences that many students never thought were accessible.”

internXL Program Director Ivana Jackson says internships can help level the playing field. The internXL platform “is uniquely positioned to bring precision, diversity, inclusion, and efficiency to the internship matching process for thousands of talented and skilled young adults across the country,” said Jackson. “The objective of internXL is to provide value to both the employer and the student by providing highly qualified, pre-screened entry-level talent for the employer and providing ‘on-ramps’ to high-quality jobs that help students begin their professional careers.”

internXL and its partners will continue to work directly with HBCUs to ensure students realize their full potential in a competitive global economy.

About Fund II Foundation

Fund II Foundation was established in 2014 for the purpose of advancing social change by making grants to section 501(c)(3) public charities in five areas: Preserving the cultural richness of the African American experience for future generations; Safeguarding human dignity by giving voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights; Conserving the environment, promoting outdoor education, and providing the benefits of the great outdoors to people of all ages and backgrounds. Affording music education, particularly in primary and secondary schools, to nourish both talent and the soul; and sustaining the American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, innovation and security. Through its Cradle to Greatness Pipeline effort, F2F is tracking grantee efforts in areas that support “greatness” in life and work through purposeful careers and ownership. To that end, a very special pipe is “internships,” thus its newest initiative internXL, previously known as internX, is designed to provide opportunities to those overlooked and underestimated.

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Dafna Tapiero


Dafna Tapiero