Webb Family Foundation Creates Life Changing Scholarship

With over 40 years of experience as a leader in the tech industry, Maynard Webb is eager to share his advice and encouragement with the next generation of entrepreneurs and changemakers.

Having previously served as Chair and CEO of LiveOps, Chairman of the Board of Yahoo!, and the COO of eBay, and as a current board member for Salesforce and Visa—people from all over the world seek his advice. And now, through the Webb Family Foundation’s partnership with KIPP Public Schools, six KIPP seniors will have him in their corner.

“One thing I want to do with the rest of my life is to make sure that regardless of circumstance, there is opportunity for anyone who wants to chase their dreams and work hard to achieve them—even if it’s against the odds. Don’t limit yourself. Fighting for something that seems beyond what was expected of you doesn’t make you an imposter—it makes you a breakout.” Maynard Webb

The Webb Family Foundation, co-founded by Maynard and Irene Webb, has been investing in education and improving student outcomes since 2004. The Foundation works to ensure that all young people, regardless of neighborhood or circumstances, receive the opportunities and support needed to succeed in school and in life.

The Webb Scholars Program will be awarded annually to six KIPP seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence, a commitment to community impact and financial need. The program will ultimately support 24 scholars through 2030, with a cohort of six scholars added annually. Scholars will be provided with the resources, tools and mentorship they need to become changemakers, including an annual stipend of $15,000, for a total of $60,000 to defray the costs of attending college. Additionally, Webb Scholars will be paired with a mentor to provide career guidance. Each scholar will also have the opportunity to connect with Maynard and Irene Webb during a professional development weekend in July before heading off to college.

The program is another extension of the Webb’s mission to pay it forward and help others achieve their dreams. Consistently seeking opportunities to mentor young entrepreneurs, Maynard Webb founded Webb Investment Network, a seed investment firm dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs in 2010. Hoping to reach and inspire a wider audience, Webb authored two bestselling books, including Dear Founder: Letters of Advice for Anyone Who Leads, Manages, or Wants to Start a Business. He continues to extend this wisdom in his weekly newsletter of the same name.

The Webb Family Foundation was deeply involved in the scholar selection process and is proud to welcome and help guide the six scholars that make up the 2023 inaugural cohort. One of those scholars, Rodrigo López, hopes to leverage the opportunities afforded through the Webb Scholars Program to serve others.

Rodrigo López, Webb Scholar

Rodrigo, who came to the United States when he was 13 years old, aspires to become a nurse and has a passion for medical research. He is looking forward to attending the University of California, Berkeley in the fall and majoring in chemistry.

“This contribution will make my vision, dreams and the impact I want to have truly possible. I’m truly grateful.” – Rodrigo López

We are so grateful to the Webb Family Foundation for investing in KIPP students and supporting their dreams.


PGIM Real Estate: Building Opportunity

PGIM Real Estate believes that doing the right thing for their people, the environment and communities leads to better results for all stakeholders. They are committed to advancing social justice and racial equity, especially in the communities where they invest and operate.  

“Our partnership with KIPP allows our employees to develop inclusive leadership skills and engage with the communities in which we work and invest. They really enjoy working with the KIPP students and helping them with their resumes, interviewing skills and providing career guidance. We’re very excited to have hired several KIPP alumnae into our summer and full-time analyst programs and look forward to expanding our early talent pipeline with KIPP students.”  Ivy Tsui, Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at PGIM Real Estate 

Through their ongoing partnership with KIPP, established in 2018, PGIM Real Estate employees have volunteered hundreds of hours supporting more than 2,000 KIPPsters in Newark, Dallas and Washington, DC, as they prepare to navigate the workforce by providing training, education and career opportunities.  

“It’s incredibly important for college students to build relationships with professionals in various industries, both to guide their career planning and to learn more about careers themselves. It’s even more important for our KIPP alumni, where many are first-generation college students.” Samantha Crockett, KIPP New Jersey Career Program Manager 

Together, PGIM Real Estate and KIPP have executed over 90 events and activities for KIPPsters, including career fairs, mock interviews and pre-college program application essay revisions, with more than 500 PGIM employees generously volunteering their time and expertise.  

Resume workshops also pair up PGIM volunteers with KIPP alums, enabling KIPPsters to receive personalized coaching and resume feedback. These two-month-long workshops empower KIPPsters with the tools to pursue full-time employment and critical internships while facilitating meaningful relationships with volunteers.  

“This past summer, I received a lot of experience in my summer internship, but it was hard to transfer those details to my resume. Ms. Kim Johnson at PGIM Real Estate was really helpful in getting my resume to truly reflect how much I accomplished at my internship.” Jadisha Proano, KIPP alum and current Freshman at Dickinson College 

Ultimately, KIPP’s partnership with PGIM Real Estate aims to equip KIPP alums with the skills and professional experiences they need to succeed in their chosen career paths. Khufu Edwards knows first-hand how transformative finding the right career path can be. A KIPP DC alumni, Khufu was a junior at West Virginia University when KIPP staff notified him of an internship opportunity with PGIM Real Estate. Khufu secured a summer internship with them, unleashing a passion for finance. After completing a second internship with PGIM Real Estate the following summer, they offered him a full-time job. 

“This has been instrumental in my life trajectory. Prior to KIPP sharing the PGIM Real Estate internship opportunity, I was still deciding how I wanted to explore my interest in finance. PGIM and KIPP have afforded me the opportunity to learn more about the world of commercial real estate. This space is fascinating and can spark generational wealth for my family and me.” Khufu Edwards, Senior Investment Analyst at PGIM Real Estate 

Now, Khufu is a Senior Investment Analyst at PGIM Real Estate and pays it forward as a KIPP ambassador, volunteering at resume workshops and offering career advice during “Lunch and Learns.” His unique perspective as a KIPP alum enables him to connect and relate with KIPPsters over shared experiences. 

At KIPP, we want our students and alums to feel empowered, prepared and supported when embarking on their chosen career paths. We are grateful to PGIM Real Estate for the support they show our students and their commitment to advancing social justice and equity. Together, we are helping KIPPsters build the skills and confidence to create the future they want for themselves and their communities. 


Expanding Wellness Supports for KIPP Alumni and Counselors

As students return to classrooms and college campuses, educators and health practitioners continue to raise the alarm about the widespread mental health crisis among America’s youth.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, rates of depression and anxiety have reportedly doubled among children and adolescents. America’s leading pediatric experts recently declared a national emergency, saying the worsening mental health crisis is “inextricably tied to the stress brought on by COVID-19 and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.” 

At KIPP, self-reported data from our students and alumni echo these findings. Among high school students preparing to apply for and matriculate to postsecondary programs, we are observing a tremendous need for more holistic, trauma-informed counseling and supports. On a recent survey of 5,000 alumni, 61% rated their mental health as “fair” to “poor,” and, among those who did not enroll in higher education, or who paused their studies, mental health was cited as the primary reason behind the decision not to enroll. According to the American Council on Education, it’s a top concern for college presidents now too.

This year, with the support of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, KIPP has responded, providing alumni with direct support for counseling and virtual therapy, and training counselors to better recognize, validate, and respond to trauma. And in the immediate aftermath of the disruption caused by COVID, KIPP partnered with Ayana Therapy to provide free, online, culturally competent, clinical therapy for KIPP alumni. We have been able to expand our partnership with Ayana and provide free therapy to nearly 300 KIPP alumni.

“Ayana has been such a blessing,” said one KIPP alum. “I used to have therapy elsewhere, but it was too expensive for me to be consistent, and I felt like I wasn’t making progress. Ayana has allowed me to pursue my mental health in a convenient way. They paired me with an amazing therapist, and I’ve been meeting with her weekly ever since.

In addition, in 2022, across 13 professional development sessions, we will train hundreds of KIPP college counselors and alumni advisors nationwide to better understand and recognize the trauma response, support students to reduce shame and feel empowered, and tap into and harness resilience. Feedback from early session participants has been incredibly positive. “This was an eye-opener and provided ways to rethink my views of students and how they show up in advising meetings,” said Jacqueline, a Match Placement Counselor from KIPP Newark. “This allows me to better serve my students or seek out individuals who are better equipped to support.”

The Crimsonbridge Foundation is committed to improving educational access, outcomes, and graduation rates, especially for first-generation college students and students underrepresented in higher education. 

“Wellness and connection have a transformational effect on a student’s ability to earn a degree. KIPP’s efforts are a great example of how supporting well-being can help students achieve their goals and thrive in college.” said Danielle M. Reyes, President and CEO of the Crimsonbridge Foundation.

Over the past two years, in every community where we work, the importance of mental health supports has never been more evident, and as KIPP considers the power of these supports on graduation rates, we recognize the high-impact opportunity for us to support KIPP alums in new ways going forward, with philanthropy as a partner.


Greater Share: An Innovative Philanthropic Investment Model

Greater Share believes that when investors unite around a shared mission, long-lasting, systemic change can result. Launched earlier this year, Greater Share is an innovative philanthropic investment model that provides selected non-profit organizations (NGOs) with long-term, recurring funding, helping them to achieve their mission of closing the education gap.

Greater Share’s first-of-its-kind philanthropic model allows investors to donate the majority, or all, of their capital gains to proven NGOs, providing them with sustained, unrestricted, long-term funding support.

KIPP Public Schools is proud to have been selected, along with seven other high-impact education NGOs, as a member of the Greater Share portfolio. Recipients span the globe and were selected from over 4,000 organizations by an esteemed panel of education experts evaluating mission, scope of work, evidence of impact, commitment to equity, and focus on historically underserved groups.

A key criterion for selection was alignment with Greater Share’s theory of change. Greater Share believes in the power of a child-centric education model, that includes not just teachers, but also school leaders, parents, caregivers, counselors, community workers and other adults vital to the education process.

“Our hope is that Greater Share’s innovative model is the start of a new breed of philanthropic investment,” shared Paul Fletcher, Co-Founder of Greater Share. “It is clear that the issues facing humanity cannot be answered by individual interventions. The only way we can hope to solve them is through collaboration, through a collective model bringing together powerful ideas, approaches and new learning. Greater Share is an invitation to investors, private equity and NGOs to be part of this journey.”

Support from Greater Share will allow KIPP to increase and extend its impact to more communities nationwide. We are grateful to have a partner that believes in our mission and shares in our vision that every child grows up free to create the future they want for themselves and their communities.


Robert F. Smith and the Power of Internships

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Robert F. Smith believes that internships are not only crucial to the success of any business, but are also key for creating pathways to success and onramps to opportunity for young people from all backgrounds.

Smith is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners (Vista), a leading global investment firm that invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses. Vista is partnering with KIPP Public Schools to provide internships to college students from underrepresented backgrounds in the field of asset management — the kind of opportunity Smith himself received at a key moment in his life.

As a high school student, Smith, who hoped to be an engineer, set his sights on an internship from Bell Labs, an industrial research and scientific development company created with the development of radio astronomy, the transistor and the laser.

Smith was denied initially because the intern positions were reserved for college students. However, he was persistent and called the company every week for five months to eventually secure an opportunity.

Smith interned at Bell Labs throughout his college years at Cornell University, using the money he earned to help cover his tuition. He credits the internship with helping him grow in ways beyond what he was learning in the classroom. It also opened up his worldview as he met professional scientists, including his mentor who had a Ph.D. in solid state physics and inspired Smith to keep asking questions and to stay curious.

“[My interactions with my mentor] taught me one of my most important life lessons – ‘discover the joy of figuring things out,’” said Smith. “There is great joy in solving problems, in aiming for constant and ongoing improvement – it’s core to an engineer’s mindset.”

Smith’s experience at Bell Labs showed him that internships could alter the trajectory of someone’s life. Along with offering internships at Vista to students not traditionally represented in the asset management field, Smith also established InternXL, an organization that helps connect employers with talented intern candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. The InternXL program is operated by Fund II Foundation, of which Smith is the Founding Director and President.

Smith’s Philanthropic Work

Creating onramps to opportunity for young people is core to Smith’s philanthropy, and he has worked with many organizations that address inequities in education and the workplace.

Smith believes that by developing systematic solutions that scale, we can create sustainable results and mechanisms for not only real progress, but also lasting change. After Smith’s gift to the Morehouse Class of 2019, in which he paid off each graduating students’ college debt, Smith envisioned an organization that could help more students with the cost of attending college. Smith’s idea became the Student Freedom Initiative, which takes a holistic approach to removing some of the financial burdens on STEM students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Smith has also donated to both of his alma maters, Cornell University and Columbia University, with parts of the gifts allocated to create scholarships funds for traditionally underrepresented students.

To tackle workplace inequities for women and people of color, Smith has partnered with multiple organizations, including:

Smith also became the first African American to sign the Giving Pledge in 2017, in which he committed to donating half of his net worth during his lifetime to causes that support equality for African Americans as well as those that work towards ensuring a livable planet for future generations.

For more on Smith’s business insights and philanthropy follow him on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


KIPP Partnership with Vista Equity Partners

Vista Equity Partners: Creating Opportunities in Asset Management for KIPP Alumni

Vista Equity Partners (Vista), a leading global asset manager, believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, diverse and inclusive communities, and a broader path to prosperity.

The firm’s Founder, Chairman and CEO Robert F. Smith participated in a life-changing internship and is committed to providing young people from all backgrounds with similar transformative experiences.

While Vista supports internships for rising college juniors and seniors, this year Vista is partnering with KIPP Public Schools and the Posse Foundation to expand its internship program and provide college sophomores access to internships. By expanding and diversifying their pipeline to careers in asset management, Vista will strengthen their next generation of investment leadership. Vista identified KIPP and Posse as leaders in supporting students in achieving their highest aspirations and is providing a donation to each organization.

“Early college internship experiences can increase social capital which reduces inequalities inherent in the current internship paradigm. We look forward to extending onramps to opportunity and pathways to success for underrepresented candidates through our partnerships with KIPP and Posse.”

Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners.

Vista’s Culture of Promoting Internships

At Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith has made internship opportunities central to the firm’s culture. Smith has a noted focus on philanthropic causes around improving diversity in STEM fields, including among students pursuing careers in tech. A passion for providing life and career-changing programs to young people was instilled in Smith at a young age through his own transformative internship experience.

“I think about internships not just in the form and fashion of what job gets done, but how we can open people’s minds and spark their imaginations. The next generation of talent has to be cultivated,” says Smith. “So from our perspective at Vista, we want to ensure that we have the broadest and most diverse group of individuals in our internship programs to help propel our next generation of investors.”

Vista’s six-week, paid internships include a capstone project, lunches with Vista leadership, hands-on training, professional development, and networking opportunities to build connections that can lead to career opportunities in asset management.

Vista is a leader in increasing access to career-shaping internship opportunities for underrepresented groups, helping remove barriers to careers in the asset management field for students of color and students facing economic hardship. These latest offerings build upon existing partnerships with Girls Who Invest and Vista’s own Frontier Fellows program.

Vista currently invests in over 80 enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses – many of whom are solving challenges such as creating more equitable financial systems, developing processes that lead to more diverse hiring practices, and leading initiatives to increase equity in higher education.

For the latest news from Vista Equity Partners follow the firm on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Innovative Alumni Support: Donors Lead the Way

Every year, 3 million students nationwide drop out of college due to a financial crisis of less than $500. When longtime KIPP supporters Carol and Gene Ludwig heard stories of alumni being forced to put their postsecondary plans on hold, or drop out, because they couldn’t pay a bill, they worked with KIPP to establish the Carol and Gene Ludwig Persistence Fund.

“If a financial emergency is preventing a student from remaining in college, that is a problem we are very eager to solve,” said Dr. Carol Ludwig, president of the Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation and KIPP DC Board Member. “We are honored to partner with KIPP to ensure that hard-working students have the financial resources that they need in order to earn and access the numerous benefits of a college degree. We are thrilled that this type of financial aid has contributed to more students completing college.”

Through the Persistence Fund, KIPP alumni can access one-time, emergency microgrants to cover unexpected expenses that might otherwise derail their college goals. This support can cover basic living necessities, course supplies, technology, and other critical needs.

Originally piloted in 2014 for KIPP DC alumni, the Ludwig Persistence Fund’s significant and sustained success fueled interest in scaling the program to reach more alumni in other KIPP regions. In 2018, the Ludwigs provided Persistence Fund grants to five additional KIPP regions, and the grants have had a significant impact for these KIPP graduates, which ultimately led KIPP and the Ludwigs to expand the program to all KIPP regions in 2020.  

Today, with the Ludwigs’ support, 92 percent of KIPP alumni who received a microgrant are staying in college or have graduated. When COVID impacted alumni nationwide, KIPP launched a national microgrant program known as the Postsecondary Bridge Fund modeled on the Ludwig Persistence Fund.

Determined to further strengthen support for KIPP alumni, the Ludwigs partnered with KIPP to pilot a new program leveraging nudge technology. Nudge allows KIPP to send targeted text messages, including reminders and encouragement, to alumni in college. An AI-assisted bot called “KIPPer” also responds to commonly asked questions. Thanks to the Ludwigs’ early backing, 22 KIPP regions are now using Nudge.

Whether you’re a new donor to KIPP or longtime contributors like Carol and Gene Ludwig, you can be part of the innovation happening to support KIPP students and alumni.


Intel Foundation Supports STEM at KIPP

Intel is committed to creating a better world through the power of its technology and the expertise and passion of its employees. Intel and the Intel Foundation have a strong legacy of partnering with community organizations, governments, and academia to catalyze action in communities around the globe. As part of Intel’s 2030 RISE strategy and goals, the company has committed to expanding the inclusive pipeline of talent for the industry through innovative global education initiatives and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs.

“Changing the future of technology isn’t something we can do alone,” says Intel Foundation President and Director of STEM Education Pia Wilson-Body. “That’s why Intel is proud to partner with organizations like KIPP to expand access to skills needed for current and future careers in STEM fields.”

To reach more students and increase access to high-quality STEM education in more communities, Intel recently partnered with KIPP, supporting our efforts to give students in grades K-8 a strong foundation in science.

Today, nearly every KIPP school uses the Amplify Science curriculum. Amplify is a robust, hands-on curriculum designed to fulfill 100% of the Next Generation Science Standards. Amplify is literacy rich and invites students to investigate phenomena with the purpose of solving authentic problems.

Throughout KIPP’s history, we have experienced what research confirms—great student outcomes are the result of great teaching. Too often in education, however, teachers are handed a curriculum and once the classroom door closes, they receive little support. What we know for sure is that a great curriculum without proper training, resources and tools is unlikely to realize its full impact.

With Intel’s support, we are not only expanding access to Amplify to more students, but also providing high-quality training and professional development so that KIPP teachers and leaders can internalize Amplify’s lessons and content, teach it effectively, and analyze student performance data.

“A zip code doesn’t determine brilliance, but it does determine access,” shared Pia Wilson-Body. “Together with KIPP, we are removing barriers and enabling and inspiring the innovators of tomorrow.”

“A zip code doesn’t determine brilliance, but it does determine access. Together with KIPP, we are removing barriers and enabling and inspiring the innovators of tomorrow.”

– Pia Wilson-Body, Intel Foundation President and Director of STEM Education

At KIPP, we want students to create, innovate, experiment, and wonder — every day and in every grade. By delivering high-quality science instruction across our schools, with the support of Intel, we believe KIPP can become a leader in reversing the STEM diversity gap. We are excited to partner with Intel to support KIPP students in building their identities and skills as makers, designers, problem solvers, and leaders positioned for 21st century careers.


An Enduring Commitment: Credit Suisse Americas Foundation

Every donor invests in a vision and takes a small leap of faith that the promise they see will become fully realized. Donors who invest over a long period of time double down on that faith and build confidence in their grantees at the same time that they build their capacity for success. Credit Suisse has been just this kind of supporter for KIPP.

Since 2006, KIPP has been honored to count Credit Suisse and the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation among its champion supporters. Not only has the organization made a long-term commitment to KIPP, it has also made a long-term commitment to KIPPsters and our educators, supporting KIPP’s innovative leadership development programs, sustained excellence in our schools, as well as our post-secondary support strategies.

Most recently, thanks to Credit Suisse, we have been able to deepen career awareness, exploration, and immersion offerings in our high schools. In addition, from Houston, to Durham, to New York City, Credit Suisse employees have partnered with KIPP regions to offer tutoring, career days and other forms of mentorship that open KIPPsters’ eyes to the wide variety of paths available to them. Finally, through their annual Holiday Charity Initiative, Credit Suisse employees have consistently taken advantage of the employee match offered by the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation to give generously to KIPP.

When the KIPP and Credit Suisse partnership began, KIPP was educating just 14,000 students. Today, Credit Suisse has helped us grow to reach 115,000 students – to teach them, inspire them, and set them on a trajectory toward personal success. We can’t thank them enough for their steadfast belief in KIPP, our educators, and our KIPPsters.


Partners in Success: KIPP and Centene

For more than 35 years, Centene has been committed to transforming the health of communities and helping individuals live healthier lives. This commitment has meant embracing an approach that focuses on the whole person and understanding that many factors – including education — contribute to wellness and health outcomes.

To build a healthier future for children, the Centene Charitable Foundation recently partnered with KIPP to accelerate early literacy achievement across our network of schools.

With Centene’s generous support, we launched the KIPP Early Literacy Program, a three-year, cohort-based professional development program which supports teachers and leaders in reimagining their early literacy programs, ensuring that all instruction is aligned to the research on the science of reading.

Centene logo

The program, which launched in 2020 amid the backdrop of the pandemic, has already had a significant impact, reaching nearly 5,000 students in kindergarten through second grade from seven KIPP regions. This year, an additional eight KIPP regions have joined the program.

“Centene is committed to investing in the future of the communities we serve and understands education is key to addressing the many factors beyond access to medical care that contribute to an individual’s overall wellness,” said Michael F. Neidorff, the late Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Centene. “This partnership not only furthers Centene’s investment in our communities, while advancing our focus on inclusion and the whole person, but also works to improve socioeconomic conditions among our youth that could potentially influence long-term health risks and outcomes.”

“This partnership not only furthers Centene’s investment in our communities, while advancing our focus on inclusion and the whole person, but also works to improve socioeconomic conditions among our youth that could potentially influence long-term health risks and outcomes.”


We are deeply grateful to count the Centene Charitable Foundation among our KIPP champions helping to drive improvements in early childhood and literacy across our network. Few investments will last longer or pay more dividends than teaching a young child to read.