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Olympia Development of Michigan, Cinnaire Solutions and the Detroit Public Schools Community District recently partnered with Project Destined to offer a real estate internship program for underserved youth in the city of Detroit. 

Project Destined was launched in Detroit in 2016 with a focus on increasing the number of diverse owners and leaders in the commercial real estate industry. The social impact platform, now active across 20 markets, partners with corporations, schools and non-profits to train students in the fundamentals of commercial real estate. Students learn through immersive sessions where they analyze live deals with experienced architects, contractors, bankers and developers. 

Recently, 11th and 12th grade Detroit students were able to learn the basics of real estate, business, investment and management. Interns built skills through training and analyzing live deals within the community while working with leading executives and companies in the industry. For their participation in the program, interns each earned $12 per hour, and competed for team-based prizes of more than $1,000.

“We appreciate that the Project Destined partnership focused on innovative real estate and technology programs combined with a paid internship,” said Alycia Meriweather, DPSCD deputy superintendent of partnerships. “This program extends our high school Career Academies and provides real-world opportunities for our students to gain professional experience. We envision that students participating in the program will become future leaders who drive Detroit’s comeback story with their work.” 

Cedric Bobo, founder of Project Destined, said that “Detroit will always be home for Project Destined. We are extremely proud to partner with the Detroit Public Schools, Olympia Development and Cinnaire to prepare this incredible group of students for a career in commercial real estate.”  Bobo further said that “the real estate industry provides unparalleled opportunities for students to build a great career while also impacting their community and their city. This program will ensure that these students are ready to take on that challenge.”

See excerpts from these immersive sessions, featuring students and Olympia Development Construction and Architecture executives in a live question & answer session, in the video below.

Lucius Vassar, corporate counsel and executive vice president for equitable engagement at Cinnaire, said that “we believe DPSCD students are talented, uniquely gifted and a critical component to creating a healthier community.”  Vasser further added that “Cinnaire’s mission is to help advance communities and that programs like these help ensure that tomorrow’s return on today’s investment will be immeasurable.”  

Rian Barnhill, Olympia Development vice president of government and community affairs, said that “the real estate industry is a key driver of Detroit’s economy, and we want young Detroiters to play a significant role in building it.”  She further added that “this program is designed to help bridge the equality gap in an industry that requires diverse involvement for sustainable, equitable development for all.”