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New Undergraduate CRE Course, Development Boot Camp Launched By Standard Communities, Project Destined

Project Destined scholars and research interns Ramgelly Espinosa, Nicole Kerrison and Kam'ron McKnight.

National affordable housing developer Standard Communities is partnering with social impact platform Project Destined to shape the next generation of real estate professionals from diverse backgrounds.

The boot camp the company is creating will offer undergraduate Project Destined students an overview of affordable housing investment and work to equip them for real estate investment and management classes, per a release announcing the program. Standard Communities and Project Destined are forming a partnership with Lehman College in the Bronx to create commercial real estate courses focused on affordable housing.

The college students will, as part of the mentorship program, get 40 hours of work each semester within the commercial real estate industry. They also will be part of weekly team-based competitions as part of the program. Standard Communities — which has a portfolio of more than 11,500 units — plans to expand its partnership with Project Destined in cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

“Affordable housing, maybe more than any other segment of the real estate industry, needs more people with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives working together to help transform communities and drive positive social change,” Standard Communities Chief Strategy Officer Joe Ouellette said in a statement. “Partnering with Project Destined allows Standard to share our key values, experience and expertise with a diverse group of students, laying a foundation for their future career success in commercial real estate and affordable housing."

The partnership marks the first time Project Destined has joined with an affordable housing developer, according to Cedric Bobo, the organization's founder.

"The power of the Affordable Housing Bootcamp is that all 1,000 of our students can join the Bootcamp and benefit from a curriculum developed in partnership with Standard Communities," he said in an email. "The scale of the exposure is powerful and students get mentoring along with it."

Project Destined provides training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and real estate. The platform — which has its own e-learning program — forms partnerships with schools, nonprofits and companies to offer training. The aim is to demystify the real estate industry and to show people that they can be part of the development in their neighborhoods.