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Who We Are

Who We Are

Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a catalyst for freedom in professional and life choices for students attending a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) by increasing their social and economic mobility. In close collaboration with participating schools and other strategic partners, we address the wealth gap through the lens of affordable access to a college education, opportunity for hands on professional and life training, integrated student services, and technology enhancement.  We provide support to students that enable their future personal and professional success in a global marketplace and targeted support to participating institutions that increase their resiliency and competitiveness as anchors within their respective communities.

Student Freedom Initiative’s Strategic Outcomes Are:

1. Liberate students to make professional and life choices.
2. Increase African-American economic mobility via STEM
3. Provide more favorable terms and flexibility than alternatives
4. Institutionalize scalable platform to eventually support all STEM students at subset of remaining MSIs (subject to raised capital).
5. Enable HBCU transformation, resilience, and increased competitiveness
6. Provide transformative model for policy, researchers, and policy advocate

Our program launched in the fall of 2021, initially focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) due to their historic contribution to the nation.  However, we intend to expand to other MSIs in the future. Please see our FAQs below for more information.

As a nonprofit public charity, our strategy is to raise a significant amount of donated funding that supports our efforts. Among other donations, Student Freedom Initiative’s initial funding includes a $50 million personal gift from Robert F. Smith — philanthropist and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners — and a $50 million gift from the Fund II Foundation — a charitable organization committed to advancing social change, of which Mr. Smith is founding director.  Please see donors for those who have provided financial and/or in-kind support in the fulfillment of our mission.