Teacher Appreciation

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Teacher Appreciation

The six Eagle Academy for Young Men public schools are often celebrated for the incredible and inspiring results the young men display socially, emotionally, and academically. Through their powerful and engaging work, young men across the Eagle network, past, and present, rave about the importance of the teachers they had during their pivotal middle and high school years. This Teacher Appreciation week, we want to give a huge thanks to the incredible educators that foster and educate the young men of the Eagle Academies daily.  

“One of the greatest lessons I learned was from my Dean, Aaron Barnette, and one of my favorite teachers, Philip Magli,” Hector Bonilla said. “[Mr. Magli] passed away earlier this year. God rest his soul. He taught me to be grateful for the gift of life. We are in a unique position to breathe, and [they taught me] to always have a smile on my face and put my best foot forward. Every day I’m always being the kindest I can be to people because of what I learned from my former teacher Mr. Magli and Dean Aaron Barnette.”

During his time as an educator, hundreds of young men were influenced by Philip Magli, a star teacher at the Eagle Academy for Young Men of the Bronx. Without teachers such as Magli, who devote their time, energy, and resources to the young men, this work wouldn’t be possible.  

Our hero educators have played a critical role in our network-wide 89% high school graduation rate versus the 59% national average for young men of color and helping 99% of our scholars to be accepted to college in 2021. Eagle Teachers guide our young men to realize their potential. The unique collaboration in our classrooms has led to an abundance of success stories. One is that of Brenton James, the 2014 Eagle Academy for Young Men of the Bronx valedictorian who went viral for being accepted to 21 colleges before ultimately deciding to attend the University of Pennsylvania, becoming the network’s first student to enroll in an Ivy League college. Eagle Academy educators’ impact on James helped pave the way for future Eagles to reach impressive heights.  

We thank each of the Eagle Academy teachers for their hard work, heartfelt dedication, and steadfast support for the young men we serve. Happy Teachers’ Appreciation Week! 

The Eagle Academy Foundation Announces Major Gift from Robert F. Smith, Powered by Goalsetter App Technology

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The Eagle Academy Foundation Announces Major Gift from Robert F. Smith, Powered by Goalsetter App Technology

Smith to donate stock shares in five portfolio companies to students, teachers, and staff members of Eagle Academy schools, in partnership with Goalsetter app technology.

New York, NY – October 25, 2021 – The Eagle Academy Foundation, a network of public all-male college preparatory schools serving young men of color throughout New York City and Newark, N.J., today announced a major gift from Robert F. Smith, donated in partnership with the Morehouse College Class of 2019. Together, Smith and Morehouse’s Class of 2019 are giving nearly 15,000 shares of stock in Vista Equity Partners’ publicly traded portfolio companies to each of the approximately 2,900 students, teachers, and staff members of the Eagle Academies for Young Men. Through this gift, these young men and educators will receive stock shares in Jamf (NASDAQ: JAMF), Datto (NYSE: MSP), Ping (NYSE: PING), Integral Ad Science Holding Corp (NASDAQ: IAS), and PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC) five software companies in the Vista family, with the hope that this gift will arm them with the knowledge and resources to become lifelong investors, owning their financial futures.

This gift will be powered by Goalsetter app technology, the Black female-owned family investing and saving app that provides parents with tools to teach their children financial literacy. Goalsetter’s platform will both host the shares of stock gifted to members of The Eagle Academy Foundation as well as provide every young man who receives stock with game-based, culturally relevant financial education, rooted in memes and gifs from popular culture. Through this continuing education, these young men will not only enjoy the benefits of owning stock but will also receive the education needed to become lifelong investors.

“For far too long, Black Americans have been prevented from accessing resources to build lasting, generational wealth. With this history in mind, the Morehouse Class of 2019 and I are proud to gift these stock shares to the young men of Eagle Academy. From a young age, my parents and community instilled in me the value of saving, and throughout my life I’ve learned that your financial success is not determined by what you buy, but by what you own. I hope this opportunity not only inspires these young students to explore the world of investments, but that it also serves as a catalyst for other companies to join this initiative to arm our youth with the power to control their futures,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners.

“By providing Black and Brown students with financial education and resources, we let them dictate their futures and allow them to embrace the many possibilities of who they can be, free from unnecessary financial burdens,” said David C. Banks, President and CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation. “We must see further investment and partnerships between the private sector and our schools to prepare our students for their futures. This initiative should set the precedent for companies looking to invest in Black and Brown youth and eradicate the racial wealth gap in this country. “

“We are proud to partner with The Eagle Academy Foundation and to provide a platform that will scale and achieve Robert F. Smith’s vision of financial literacy among young students of color,” said Goalsetter CEO Tanya Van Court. “By creating this scalable infrastructure to teach and support students as they learn and grow their financial portfolios, we look forward to continuing this partnership and seeing others join this cause. Together, we can change the course of history for all communities that have been marginalized due to their lack of access to financial education and opportunities.”

About The Eagle Academy Foundation

The Eagle Academy Foundation is a non-profit organization that developed and supports the Eagle Academy schools—an innovative network of six all-male, college-preparatory schools serving 3,000 students in challenged urban communities in all five boroughs of New York City and Newark, New Jersey. The Foundation is led by its President and CEO, David C. Banks, who was the Founding Principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in the Foundation’s network. For more information, visit and follow The Eagle Academy Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

About Goalsetter

Founded in 2016 by Tanya Van Court, a former Nickelodeon and ESPN executive, Goalsetter is a family saving, investing, financial education, and smart spending app that makes it easy for the whole family to go cashless while teaching them how to be money smart. Goalsetter’s smart money app for families provides users with an FDIC-Insured Savings Account; an investment platform powered by Goalsetter Advisors, LLC (an SEC-registered investment advisor); the Mastercard Cashola Teen and Tween Debit Card with parental controls, Game-based financial education quizzes; the “Learn before you Burn” parental control feature on the debit card and the “Learn to Earn” financial reward program; as well as the latest cybersecurity features to protect user privacy. For more about Goalsetter visit

Eagle Celebrates Black History Award-Winning Scholars

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Eagle Celebrates Black History Award-winning Scholars

Eagle Celebrates Black History Award-winning Scholars

The Eagle Academy Foundation is pleased to dedicate our inaugural blog post to the winners of the Fund II Foundation’s Black History in Two Minutes Essay Contest. Eagle scholars were tasked with watching all of the episodes of Black History in Two Minutes, the groundbreaking and award-winning series conceptualized by billionaire investor and philanthropist, Robert F. Smith, who was interviewed by our own Eagle Ambassadors on the weekly #EagleUpFridays Virtual Town Hall. Mr. Smith is the Founding Director of the Fund II Foundation, and a supporter of the programming implemented throughout the network of Eagle Academies. The Virtual Town Hall provided a rare opportunity for Eagle scholars to converse with such an iconic figure who is invested in their education and success.  

Impressed by the volume of high-caliber writing submitted by the contest entrants, Fund II Foundation identified ten 1st-place winners, ten 2nd-place winners, and sixteen 3rd-place winners. Winners in first place received Amazon gift cards in the amount of $1,000, those in second place received gift cards in the amount of $500, and those in third place received cards in the amount of $250.

Quincy Baker, Senior at Eagle Academy Staten Island poses in front of the Dinos Christianopoulos quote "They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds."


Scholars spent Black History Month watching the series and subsequently wrote essays about what they learned and how the series resonated with them. One of the first-place winners, Quincy Baker, currently a senior at Eagle Academy Staten Island, is an impressive student, budding track & field star, and is currently getting ready to graduate this June. We took a moment to interview Quincy and learn how watching the riveting and informative series impacted him and his future plans.

*Note: Quincy’s answers have been slightly edited in the interest of length and clarity.

Question: You mentioned in your essay that you have a great deal of admiration for Booker T. Washington and what the series highlighted about him and the challenges he faced. What was it like watching the Black History in Two Minutes series?

Answer: It was a very eye-opening experience. I got to see and learn about events that I had never heard about before in school, like the Red Summer and the Freedmen’s Bank. It was very enlightening and inspirational watching it.

Question: There tends to be a range of emotions that people go through when watching the series. What would you say was the strongest emotion you felt while watching?

Answer: The strongest emotion I felt was empowerment – to see what my ancestors had gone through, and their ability to drive history despite their circumstances. I felt empowered and uplifted learning what they were able to do.

Question: Yes – empowering Eagle scholars is a fundamental philosophy of Eagle. You stated in your essay that Black History should be celebrated every month, not just in February. How do you feel you can contribute to this becoming a reality?

Answer: I feel like I can contribute by inspiring my peers and the youth that will come after me. They shouldn’t neglect our history nor let our ancestors’ pain be in vain. It’s important for us to fight for a better world and keep that work going.

Question: What has your experience at Eagle Academy been like? Also – what house are you in at Eagle, and how has that impacted your thinking?

Answer: Since we’re a small school, I feel like the staff and educators have been really attentive and focused on our success. I’ve also bonded really well with my fellow classmates. As a member of Mahatma Ghandi house at Eagle Staten Island, the quote that we live by is “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. I really appreciate that quote because I want to be a force for change. I plan to eventually work in policy writing to help revamp the judicial system from within.

We’ve extracted the following excerpt from Quincy’s winning essay, which is a testament to his commitment to the change of which he speaks:

“From watching videos on individuals like Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, and W.E.B. DuBois I learned the value of staying resilient to your dreams and ideas while not letting other people control your drive. Booker T. Washington suffered tremendous criticism for his public ideologies and was seen as leading African Americans in the wrong direction, but he also did work behind the scenes towards his ultimate goal. Ida B. Wells fought through death threats, actions of violence, and even driven out of Memphis in order to deliver the truth about the treatment of black people through her journalism. W.E.B. Du Bois used photographic exhibits to portray the progress and perspective of the lives of African Americans and help spark movement. Every one of these heroes had hardships that they had to deal with, but that didn’t stop them from getting their messages across, it didn’t stop their pursuit for change, and they didn’t let anyone change their minds about it.”

In addition to being a standout Eagle Academy student, Quincy Baker is also a Fellow in the My Brother’s Keeper Program established under President Barack Obama. He has been accepted at Howard University where he’ll enroll this fall with the intention to study political science.  

Quincy Baker, Senior at Eagle Academy Staten Island poses in front of the Dinos Christianopoulos quote "They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds."

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