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Robert Smalls Legacy Foundation's College Experience Program

About RSLF

Today, far too many Americans that are black have accepted the message that due to their heritage, culture, and skin color, their fate has been predetermined. They make the false assumption that they can only expect a life of second-class citizenry, disenfranchisement, and economic instability due to a systemic history of racism in America. They are told they need not apply themselves to the pursuit of happiness and prosperity. As a black man, I acknowledge that America is not nor has it ever been a perfect society. I have experienced firsthand the ills of our society, and yet, I consider myself extremely blessed to be an American citizen and to call this land my home.

- Jerod Cherry, Robert Smalls Legacy Foundation President

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Empowering Our Youth To Overcome Obstacles


Robert Smalls' fervor for education was truly remarkable. As a former slave, he not only hired tutors during the American Civil War but also remained committed to his educational journey long after the war had ended. His dedication extended to establishing the first public school system in South Carolina. Inspired by his legacy, we aim to honor his legacy by providing students with the essential tools for success. Our educational programs will primarily focus on career exploration and financial literacy, addressing critical gaps in education that affect students nationwide. By granting students access to these valuable resources, we aspire to brighten their futures, equipping them with the knowledge and opportunities necessary to shape the lives they desire.


Furthermore, Robert Smalls' unwavering dedication to education reminds us that knowledge is a powerful force for social progress. We are determined to carry forward his belief in the transformative power of learning. Through these holistic educational initiatives, we aspire to nurture well-rounded individuals who not only succeed personally but also contribute to the betterment of society as a whole, just as Robert Smalls did during his lifetime.

What We Do

Career Prospects Program

A video series featuring individuals sharing similar race and backgrounds can inspire students, offering insights into various careers, dispelling doubts, and expanding their career horizons.

College Experience Program

Visiting a college campus can transform low-income students' perspectives, dispelling fears and allowing them to dream of a brighter future, which faculty find rare and rewarding.

Trade Experience Program

Virtual reality lets students explore diverse careers in an engaging way, aiding in career discovery, particularly for those uninterested in traditional college.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is vital for students as it provides them with essential life skills to make informed financial decisions, manage personal finances wisely, understand economic implications, and ensure a secure and prosperous future.

Holding Hands

The Robert Smalls Legacy Foundation mission is to educate and empower black youth across America to reject messages that influence them to embrace underachievement and economic dependency.

Classmates in Library

Our goal is to reverse the systemic tide of academic and economic underperformance that has ravaged the lives, homes, schools, neighborhoods, and communities of Americans that are black.

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