Project Destined, Walker & Dunlop, and Greystar Launch Innovative Internship Program for Underserved Students in Middle School, High School, and University
BETHESDA, Md., December 1, 2020 - Walker & Dunlop, Inc., in partnership with Project Destined and Greystar, a global leader in the investment, development, and management of high-quality rental housing properties, today announced a unique new paid internship program for students from diverse backgrounds. Launching in Durham, North Carolina, the three-year program prioritizes early education by targeting a wide range of age groups; from middle school to university. Walker & Dunlop and Greystar will be integral to the internship, providing students with the opportunity to work with leading commercial real estate firms, where live transactions will help participants gain real-world experience.
The program is administered by Project Destined, a social impact education and investment platform that specializes in training underserved youth, and is available to students attending Global Scholars Academy Middle School, Hillside High School, and North Carolina Central University. Project Destined has worked with over 900 students since its founding, and has internship programs in Detroit, Memphis, London, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, as well as the Bronx and Baltimore. The organization was co-founded by Cedric Bobo, a former Carlyle executive and investment banker.
"This internship builds on our longstanding partnerships with Walker & Dunlop and Greystar, two of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in commercial real estate, to create meaningful change in the D&I space," commented Mr. Bobo. "We believe it is critical to provide learning and professional development opportunities to students – especially early on in their educational development – and we couldn't be happier to partner with Walker & Dunlop and Greystar to make this program possible."
"At Walker & Dunlop, we believe that racial and social justice in America begins with education and opportunity. Having financed millions of safe, affordable apartment homes, we understand the direct correlation between vibrant, integrated communities, and economic growth," stated Willy Walker, Chairman and CEO of Walker & Dunlop. "This internship program provides a critical educational experience – and access to industry leaders – that can transform the career opportunities for these students. It is an honor to deepen our partnership with Project Destined with the launch of this internship program in Durham."
"Partnering with Project Destined to serve as mentors, educators, and financial supporters of the next generation of business leaders in Durham is something I'm proud Greystar is a part of. This partnership reflects our core values so well, but more importantly, the positive impact we can have on the lives of students we can recruit into the real estate industry from a wide range of backgrounds is significant," said Bob Faith, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Greystar. "Greystar was humbled to be a Launch Partner with Project Destined in Durham and was pleased to have the opportunity to use one of our new development projects in downtown Durham as the basis of a semester-long national case competition."
As part of the program, interns will dedicate up to 40 hours per semester to working within the commercial real estate industry. In addition to building a range of technical, financial, and leadership skills, students will participate in weekly team-based competitions. The weekly competitions will comprise presentations on multifamily transactions, offering students the opportunity to collaborate with real estate professionals on real-world scenarios. The program will culminate in a finale, in which each team of interns will present a live investment opportunity to industry leaders.
Walker & Dunlop is committed to being a diversity and inclusion leader within the commercial real estate industry. Our goal is to create a company that reflects the diverse composition of the communities in which we work and live, and to make inclusion an integral part of how we do business and how we innovate. To this end, we are building a comprehensive diversity & inclusion blueprint with the goal of doubling minority and female representation in leadership positions within Walker & Dunlop by 2025.
About Walker & Dunlop
Walker & Dunlop (NYSE: WD), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States. The company provides a comprehensive range of capital solutions for all commercial real estate asset classes, as well as investment sales brokerage services to owners of multifamily properties. Walker & Dunlop is included on the S&P SmallCap 600 Index and was ranked as one of FORTUNE Magazine's Fastest Growing Companies in 2014, 2017, and 2018. Walker & Dunlop's 900+ professionals in 40 offices across the nation have an unyielding commitment to client satisfaction.
Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and management of rental housing properties globally. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar manages and operates over an estimated $200 billion+ of real estate in nearly 200 markets globally including offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, managing approximately 693,000 units/beds, and has a robust institutional investment management platform with approximately $35.5 billion of assets under management, including over $15 billion of assets under development. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world-class service in the rental residential real estate business. To learn more, visit www.greystar.com.
About Project Destined
Project Destined is a leading social impact platform that provides training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and real estate. Project Destined partners with corporations, schools and non-profits to deliver training using its proprietary e-learning platform and live courses. Project Destined leverages a work-based learning approach where students work with executives to evaluate live deals in their community and present them in a pitch competition to industry leaders. Scholars emerge with the skills, confidence, experiences and networks that prepare them to secure a strong first job and to become stakeholders in their community. For more information, please visit projectdestined.com.