Male Eagle Academy students line up in uniforms

Robert F. Smith’s Focus on Education and The Eagle Academies

Robert F. Smith is an avid supporter of philanthropic efforts helping young people succeed in school and is a supporter of The Eagle Academy Foundation, a non-profit foundation helping young men of color receive the support they need to navigate the challenges of school. Through mentorship programs and other supportive services, these young men are equipped with the needed professional development skills to be successful in their future endeavors. In supporting The Eagle Academies, Robert reflects on his own school days in Denver, Colorado:

“From a young age, my parents and community instilled in me the value of saving, and throughout my life I’ve learned that your financial success is not determined by what you buy, but by what you own. I hope this opportunity not only inspires these young students to explore the world of investments, but that it also serves as a catalyst for other companies to join this initiative to arm our youth with the power to control their futures.” 

-Robert F. Smith

Supporting Young Men Through Education 

The Eagle Academy Foundation focuses on creating an inclusive environment and support system for young men in grades 6 through 12. These students attend public college preparatory schools located in underserved communities. With hopes of turning these young men into successful future leaders, The Eagle Academy Foundation provides a mentoring program and teaches students principles such as the importance of community service, excellence in character and scholastic achievement.

This foundation has created The Eagle Academies for young men as public schools to be operated by the NYC Department of Education. There are six schools throughout the NYC and New Jersey regional area including academies in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Newark, Harlem and Staten Island. Admission to these academies is not based on any testing requirements. Students are solely chosen by a lottery system operated by the NYC Department of Education, giving an equal opportunity to all young men from diverse backgrounds to be successful in their personal lives and future careers.

Robert F. Smith’s Ongoing Support of Eagle Academy Students

Over the years, The Eagle Academies have grown, in part, due to support through a grant from Fund II Foundation, of which Robert F. Smith is founding director and President. This grant has made Fund II Foundation one of Eagle Academies’ top donors as it has supported numerous educational support programs for teacher training and more with the hope that these students will receive the support they need to be successful.

“For too long, young Black men have been left behind by an educational and cultural system that writes them off. The work of the Eagle Academies has shown that not only are all Black men worthy of a quality education, but when given the proper support and using the proven educational methodology, they can exceed all expectations to rise above,” noted Fund II Foundation.

Most recently, in 2021 Smith partnered with financial literacy app Goalsetter and donated one share of stock for every Vista Equity Partners publicly listed portfolio company to each ofthe 2,900 students, faculty and staff of Eagle Academies, totaling nearly 15,000 total shares. Recipients of stock shares can learn about the value of investments and saving for their future through Goalsetter’s game-based financial literacy education. This initiative aims to give Black and Latino students access to proper financial literacy training to empower them to own their financial futures and set themselves on the course to create lasting, generational wealth.

“From today forward, they will no longer solely be consumers who make every company in America wealthy by what they spend. Through this initiative, we are creating a generation of investors and owners who can pave their way to wealth by owning a piece of the companies that make the American economy great. They, too, can learn to be participants in our flourishing economy, not just bystanders, and the companies they love can help them get there.”

-Robert F. Smith

The Vital Importance of Education

The quest to build better lives starts with a good education, something Smith learned at a young age from his educator parents. By supporting The Eagle Academies, Smith  is helping to inspire and support hundreds of students each year to own their futures and in turn support others in their communities as good role models for scholastic achievement.

Stay up to date with everything the Eagle Academy Foundation is doing by joining their mailing list or keep up with them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also learn more about Robert F. Smith’s educational philanthropy.