BRONX TIMES REPORTER, APR. 22-28, 2022 BXR
BY JASON COHEN
A program that helps kids learn about
real estate, entrepreneurship, property
ownership and financial literacy has expanded
its reach in the Bronx.
In 2021, Nuveen, a leading global investment
manager, and Project Destined,
a national social impact platform
for students and military veterans, partnered
to give high school students access
to the experience and expertise of Nuveen’s
real estate investment professionals
as they examine pathways to careers
in the field. The partnership began with
a six-week virtual internship in September
for 10 students at Comp Sci High in
the Soundview section of the Bronx.
Since spring of 2020, more than 150
students have participated in Project
Destined programs at Comp Sci High,
1300 Boynton Ave. The program features
training in real estate, digital marketing
and provides an opportunity to collaborate
with real estate professionals to
prepare presentations as part of weekly
team-based competitions. The program
also includes a “Shark Tank” style finale
where intern teams present a digital
marketing plan for a live multifamily
real estate deal to industry leaders.
Scholars emerge with the skills, confidence,
experiences and networks that
prepare them to secure a strong first job
and become stakeholders in their community.
“We really think it’s important to
have this curriculum year-round,” Cedric
Bobo, co-founder of Project Destined
told the Bronx Times.
Bobo started Project Destined in
2016 in Detroit, and in 2018 launched a
pilot program in the Bronx with several
CUNY schools — Baruch, Bronx Community
College and Lehman College —
and at a few local high schools. He said
the goal is to expose teens to real estate
and help build a pipeline to the industry.
They study how to do market research,
supply and demand, why people
are moving to the Bronx, property analysis
and much more. Bobo teaches with
his colleagues and feels the program has
been well received in the school. The
goal is to expand to more schools in the
borough, he said.
“The kids need to know we care before
they accept what you are teaching
them,” he said.
Nadir Settles, managing director at
Nuveen, has been working closely with
Bobo to develop the partnership. He was
Cedric Bobo, co-founder of Project Destined, is teaching students in the Bronx about real estate and
financial literacy. Photos courtesy Project Destined
impressed when he saw Bobo’s plan and
knew if the two collaborated, they could
positively impact children.
So, they teamed up and the rest is history.
A Bronx native, Settles felt compelled
to help the youth prepare for the
“We’re training the next diverse
group of leaders,” he said. “Kids entering
high school will now have the opportunity
to learn this stuff and it’s amazing.”
Among the Comp Sci students who
participated in the program were senior
Agiel Mitchel and sophomore Destiny
Calderon. Calderon, of the South
Bronx, who originally had aspirations
of being a social worker, heard about the
program in 2020, and thought she would
give it a try.
She has learned how to evaluate property,
credit, debt and many other aspects
of the real estate industry. According to
Calderon, the internship changed her
life, and she now hopes to pursue a career
in the field.
“I would recommend it (the internship)
to other kids,” she said. “When I
first started the program, I wasn’t interested
in real estate. Then I started learning
about things that caught my attention.”
Mitchel, of Parkchester, told the
Bronx Times that the program changed
his mind set about how he views buildings
and property. Now that he knows
about buying property and development,
Mitchel envisions a career path in real
estate as well.
“I had no real estate experience prior
to this,” he said. “I’m going to need to
know how it (real estate) works.”
Comp Sci students learn about
real estate through partnership
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