Billionaire Robert F. Smith Creates Internship Program for Underrepresented Youth


Less than a month after announcing his plans to pay off the student loan debt for Morehouse’s 2019 graduating class, billionaire entrepreneur Robert F. Smith has launched an internship program for ethnically underrepresented students, reports Essence.


Smith, who is the CEO of Vista Equity Partners, started Intern X to connect rising sophomores with a 2.8 GPA or higher to STEM-related internship positions in finance, marketing, software, real estate and not-for-profit sectors. So far, Smith has partnered with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Citi and his own Vista Equity Partners to provide summer internship opportunities to young adults.

According to Intern X’s website, participating students will receive eight weeks of paid experience, mentorship, networking and robust assignments that will prepare them for professional success after college.

Smith’s internship program is an extension of his Fund II Foundation, which has a mission to “preserve the African-American experience; safeguard human rights; provide music education; preserve the environment while promoting the benefits of the outdoors; and sustain the critical American values such as entrepreneurialism.”

Though Smith has only recently become a household name due to his commitment to Morehouse students, the billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist has a long history of giving back. Earlier this year, he donated $1.5 million to Morehouse College to create a scholarship program in his name and to help design and create a park on campus.


Additionally, in 2013 he donated $20 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. According to The Washington Post, he is the second-biggest private donor to the museum, with Oprah Winfrey’s $21 million donation coming in at No. 1.