Building pathways for inclusion and diversity in real estate

Building pathways for inclusion and diversity in real estate

By Marlen Lebish

Building pathways for inclusion and diversity in real estate

By Marlen Lebish
Miami Herbert and its Real Estate Advisory Council partner with Project Destined to improve diversity, racial equality and inclusion in commercial real estate

With the goal of expanding and supporting minority representation in the commercial real estate industry, Miami Herbert has partnered with Project Destined to empower underrepresented populations to become leaders in real estate. In the inaugural year of this partnership, Miami Herbert awarded two full scholarships funded in part by its Real Estate Advisory Council to Project Destined students.

This upcoming fall semester Miami Herbert will welcome scholarship recipients Aaliyah St. Louis and Aminata Sam to its Accelerated MBA in Real Estate Master’s program.

Founded by a former Carlyle Executive, Cedric Bobo, Project Destined is a leading social impact platform that provides training in real estate and entrepreneurship. The platform now provides training in 20 U.S. markets and has a separate investment arm with the ability to invest in assets that are evaluated as part of the program. To date, more than 1,500 students across the U.S. have participated in Project Destined since 2016.

“We are excited to partner with Miami Herbert to create this MBA Scholarship to prepare diverse students for a career in commercial real estate,” said Bobo. “The real estate industry provides unparalleled opportunities to build a great career while also impacting your community and your city. This program will ensure that Aminata, Aaliyah, and the many students to follow are ready to take on that challenge.”

According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 6 percent of all real estate professionals are Black, compared to 76 percent who are white.

“We know that this partnership will help foster more diversity in the commercial real estate industry,” said Andrea Heuson, academic director of real estate programs and professor of Finance at Miami Herbert. “The more talented, driven graduates we can place in the business world the better off we will all be.”

The scholarships are available thanks to the efforts of Miami Herbert’s Real Estate Advisory Council and spearheaded by Manny de Zarraga, Malcolm Butters, and Jackie Mansfield.

Aaliyah St. Louis

“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to further my education in real estate at Miami Herbert,” said St. Louis, a recent graduate of New York City’s Baruch College. “Since being introduced to the real estate industry at Project Destined, I instantly knew that this field would provide me with an abundance of tools needed to enhance communities like my own,” said St. Louis. “Thank you to all scholarship contributors, Dr. Andrea Heuson, and Cedric Bobo for recognizing, developing, and nurturing diverse talent like myself. I am thrilled to pursue my MBA in Real Estate and become a member of an incredibly vibrant academic community."

Brooklyn native Sam was not only a student participant of Project Destined, but also an employee who helped launch Project Destined in Chicago.

Amita Sam

“No matter where you are in the world, real estate is a critical driver of economic prosperity,” said Sam. “It’s why I’ve completed internships at PwC, J.P.Morgan Chase, and L+M to build my knowledge of the industry.  “Miami Herbert is an important next step in my journey to become a leader and owner in real estate.”

Miami Herbert also participates in the Real Estate Exchange (REEX) Summer Program, a virtual, two-week program for rising high school juniors and seniors, dedicated to helping students from challenging economic circumstances to take charge of their future and provide knowledge about career opportunities in commercial real estate. Students learn what it takes to design, build, manage, own and sell commercial real estate and pursue career paths in the field. Last year, a record 141 high school students from across the United States participated in the program.