Black philanthropist expands internship opportunities for black students

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(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON — Internships have proven to be a game changer, helping students determine the career path that’s right for them and providing a chance to gain invaluable hands-on experience in their area of ​​interest. A study found that more than 80% of graduates said an internship helped shape their career direction. For students of color, research shows that internships are essential — literally a lifeline — to their professional future.

In the United States, students who have internships on their resume are more likely to land full-time jobs after graduation. Yet, on average, only 6.6% of black students and 7.9% of Latino students participated in paid internships, compared to 74% of white students. At the same time, both groups are overrepresented among unpaid internships. Critics say these disparities also create challenges for potential employers who want to diversify their workforce.

Recognizing this lack of equity in our nation’s workforce, internXL (formerly internX) was relaunched this month, providing organizations of all types, including Fortune 500 companies, access to Screened and diverse entry-level talent. “If America is to remain competitive in the growing global digital economy, businesses and universities must collaborate to engage diverse talent,” said Black philanthropist Robert F. Smith, founding director and president of Fund II Foundation, and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista. Equity Partners, partner company of internXL.

Smith, made headlines in 2019 when he pledged a $34 million donation to Black Morehouse College in Atlanta, paying off the student balances of 400 graduates and their parents. He sees improving access to professional opportunities for students of color as a matter of strengthening national competitiveness and security. “We built – to create pipelines and opportunities for minority students to work with many of the world’s leading tech companies, providing experiences that many students never thought were accessible,” a- he declared.

Robert F. Smith

Currently, more than 220 companies and more than 17,000 shortlisted students are registered partners and participants on the internXL platform. It offers over 1,300 courses as part of its tiered Learning Management System (LMS) within the platform, giving students the opportunity to earn certifications in a variety of subjects and subject areas. skills, including cloud, cybersecurity, Salesforce, and project management, among others. .

The LMS also offers mental health support, advice on how to dress for success, and even advice on how to cook healthy meals – all aimed at preparing students for career-changing internships and that can lead to long-term career success.

The relaunch of the internXL platform also aligns with the goals of the Student Freedom Initiative, Smith’s nonprofit organization that provides science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors at colleges and universities historically. Blacks (HBCUs) with opportunities to receive income-contingent funding in lieu of the traditional college loans that have long taken a toll on their financial future.

According to the American Association of University Women, more than 70% of black female students go into debt to pay for college, compared to 56% of white female students. Additionally, the Brookings Institute finds that the disparity between blacks and whites in student debt more than triples after graduation, with black college graduates owing an average of $7,400 more than their white peers.

To support its global mission, the internXL team will visit HBCU campuses throughout the 2022-23 academic year, providing students with free career-readiness training and resources to better prepare them for their career experiences. unique course. The initiative will build on internXL’s $15,000 investment in March 2022 to Tuskegee University in Alabama, which provided portraits and professional attire to its students who completed the internship process and job application.

“The impact of this initiative has been a game-changer for Tuskegee University’s Center for Career Education and Leadership Development,” said its Director Walter P. Cooper, Sr. “The internXL team has seen a needed and immediately acted to bring about transformational change — not only through their own professional resources — but also with financial support.

InternXL Program Director Ivana Jackson said the internships help level the playing field, adding that the 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”.

Jackson continued, “internXL’s goal is to provide value to both employer and student by providing highly skilled, employer-screened, entry-level talent and providing ‘ramps’ to high-quality jobs that help students begin their career paths.” internXL and its partners will continue to work directly with HBCUs to ensure students realize their full potential in a competitive global economy.

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The Foundation Fund II was established in 2014 to advance social change by making grants to public 501(c)(3) charities in five areas: Preserving the cultural richness of experience African American for future generations; Safeguard human dignity by giving voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights; Conserve the environment, promote outdoor education, and provide the benefits of the outdoors to people of all ages and walks of life.

Enable music education, especially in primary and secondary schools, to nurture both talent and soul; and support American values ​​of entrepreneurship, empowerment, innovation and security. Through its Cradle to Greatness Pipeline effort, F2F tracks recipient efforts in areas that support “greatness” in life and work through meaningful careers and property. To that end, “Internships” is a very special channel. So, his newest initiative internXL, formerly known as internX, is designed to bring opportunities to those who are overlooked and underappreciated.

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