Cedric Bobo discusses a new program for black student-athletes to enter the commercial real estate market.
Diana Orrick | CNBC
Darius Livingston knew his football career was over when he graduated from UC Davis two years ago. Like most former teammates, and most college athletes, he never intended to go pro.
Instead, Livingston went into the commercial real estate industry thanks to lessons learned from a paid internship program that taught young students of color the basics of finance, with a particular focus on real estate investing.
The program, Project Destined, is a social impact platform founded by former Carlyle Group president Cedric Bobo.
Bobo made a name for himself in real estate investing and decided to pay it forward. He launched a finance program in his 2016 primarily aimed at high school students. Afterwards, he saw opportunities for both pre- and post-graduation internships and job opportunities, and extended them to college.
Some of the leading real estate development, finance and management firms keen to diversify their workforce have signed contracts to fund internships and mentor students.It contains names like boston real estateGreystar, Brookfield, CBRE, stock housingthe fifth wall, JLLSkanska, Volnado And Walker & Dunlop.
The program has trained over 5,000 participants from over 350 universities worldwide and partners with over 250 real estate companies.
And now, part of that effort is directed specifically at black student-athletes.
After recently conducting a pilot program with student-athletes at the University of California, Davis, Bobo joined a professional and academic outreach organization to provide paid virtual internships for 100 student-athletes at nine Division I schools. Announced partnership with A Black Student Athlete Summit. . Includes 25 hours of training.
According to a release announcing the partnership, “program participants will also join executive teams to evaluate commercial real estate transactions within their communities in real time and compete in pitch competitions with senior industry leaders.” . “Internships include scholarships and networking opportunities.”
Livingston completed a pilot program at the University of California, Davis during his final semester of college, followed by internships at Eastdill and Eden Housing. He is currently the Acquisition and Development Officer for Catalyst Housing Group, a California-based real estate developer, as well as the financial backer of the new partnership.
“For me, I think it really hit me that it probably wouldn’t be a first-round draft pick, and that’s fine,” Livingston explained. “It’s really open to other opportunities. That’s why it’s so exciting to have Project Destined come on board and expose you to the commercial real estate industry and the idea that you deserve to be an owner of the community you live in.” I am happy.”
This ownership has been Bobo’s long-standing mantra and was at the heart of his pitch when announcing the program’s new division to hundreds of students at the Black Student-Athlete Summit at the University of Southern California. He wants people to understand that owning and managing real estate can make a difference in their neighborhood. More importantly, I want them to know that ownership is possible.
“Our program isn’t just about how you see people,” Bobo said of real estate executives who attended the announcement. “That’s how you see yourself.”
While graduation rates for black student-athletes are slowly improving, many well-resourced students in school find themselves struggling when they leave the sport and enter the workforce.
“A lot of kids might think they’re first-round draft picks, but it’s a percentage or percentage of them who take themselves seriously and give themselves more than what they have. It’s important to know that there is so much more to be gained.” “Simply being exposed to sport, that’s just sport,” Livingston said.
Financial support for this program has been provided by real estate companies such as BGO, Brookfield, Catalyst Housing Group, Dune Real Estate Partners, Gemcoa Development Partners, LandSpire Group, Marcus & Milichup, Virtue Investments and Vistaria Group.
“The expansion of this platform is the natural evolution of this joint effort, inspiring thousands of Black student-athletes to pursue future careers in the commercial real estate industry,” said Jordan Moss, a former University of California student-athlete. It will provide a concrete path,” he said. Mr. Davis and his founder and CEO of Catalyst.
Project Destined is also working with the NBA and WNBA to give professional athletes more options after their competitive careers.
Livingston said he believes athletes make the best employees.
“We play to win,” he explained. “It’s the nature of competition. We want to take our chances.”