NAIOP Colorado, Project Destined Launch Bridge Program for Local Students

Updated on August 9, 2023

NAIOP Colorado is excited to announce our partnership with Project Destined to launch a new Real Estate Bridge Program, with support of our Chapter's DEI | Project Destined Sustaining Sponsor Trammell Crow Company (TCC). 

The eight-week program will provide Junior and Senior College students with the opportunity to gain exposure to the skills, resources and network required to build a career in retail real estate. The program will include live training sessions, an executive speaker series, multiple site visits with NAIOP Colorado member companies and a scholarship stipend.

Interested Candidates can apply here: https://forms.monday.com/forms/99dfdd16c44d0598eaba9df9543b1301?r=use1

We are excited to partner with Project Destined to prepare a new generation of talent for opportunities in retail real estate. Special thanks to our DEI Project Destined program sponsors: Trammell Crow Company, McWhinney, EverWest Real Estate Investors, Evergreen Development, LOWE, Mark IV Capital, Prime West and United Properties

Interested in learning more about the NAIOP Colorado's DEI efforts and opportunity to sponsor Project Destined Students? Contact [email protected] for more details.

NAIOP Colorado, Project Destined and TCC Partner to Launch Bridge Program for Local Students

Added to NAIOP Website on March 23, 2023

NAIOP Colorado, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Project Destined, a leading social impact platform, and Trammell Crow Company (TCC), a global development firm, are partnering to launch a Real Estate Development, Financing & Operations Bridge program in the Metro Denver area. The program stems from NAIOP Colorado’s existing partnership with Project Destined and consists of a seven-week "bridge" training program, where participants from Colorado Universities and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will learn from NAIOP professionals, as well as TCC mentors, about topics in the commercial real estate industry. 

This new program will provide an unprecedented opportunity for Project Destined students – known as fellows – to learn from leaders in commercial real estate and earn a Financial Modeling Certification through Project Destined’s partnership with NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate and Columbia’s Graduate School of Real Estate. In addition to weekly sessions, accepted fellows will earn scholarships and network with NAIOP Colorado and TCC leaders through site visits and asset tours throughout the Colorado area. 

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Project Destined and develop a robust talent pipeline as we train the next generation of leaders and help them prepare for the workforce. We are thrilled to have TCC on as a partner, offering valuable insight and real-world examples that the students will be able to learn from,” said CJ Manning, Vice President at Prime West and Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at NAIOP Colorado.

As part of the Bridge Program, NAIOP professionals and mentors will prepare, engage and guide students to help them develop a range of fundamentals – including financial, technical, presentation and leadership skills – designed to aid their search for internships, certifications and full-time employment in the commercial real estate industry. TCC, which has been working with Project Destined across the U.S. since 2022, is acting as the lead sponsor for the 2023 Bridge Program.

“TCC’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion programming and partnerships are continuing to grow, and we are always looking for ways to expand our programming locally. The missions of NAIOP Colorado and Project Destined align with TCC’s ‘R.I.S.E.’ values – Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence, which we share with our parent company, CBRE, also a partner of Project Destined,” said Erik Hagevik, leader of the TCC Denver office. “TCC launched a national partnership with Project Destined in 2022 and has since expanded to many local markets. In Denver, we look forward to partnering with Project Destined and with NAIOP to help introduce the world of commercial real estate to students earlier in their high school and college careers, with a goal of building a robust talent pipeline of future leaders that represent the diverse local communities where we live and work.”   

“We are excited to partner with NAIOP Colorado to prepare this incredible group of students for a career in commercial real estate,” said Project Destined Co-Founder Cedric Bobo. “The real estate industry provides unparalleled opportunities to build a great career while also impacting your community and your city. This program will ensure that these students are ready to take on that challenge.”

Following the successful sponsorship of a Denver High School Program in Summer 2022, NAIOP Colorado helped Project Destined serve more students by sponsoring a team of college students in Fall 2022. 

Since its founding in 2016, Project Destined has worked with more than 5,000 students in 35 cities across the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe. NAIOP Colorado’s partnership will support Project Destined and its mission to provide training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and real estate to students from underserved communities and students at various HBUCs.

Interested in learning more about the NAIOP Colorado's DEI efforts and opportunity to sponsor Project Destined Students? Contact [email protected] for more details. 

 NAIOP Colorado Launches Partnership with Project Destined to Advance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Colorado Commercial Real Estate

CRE Firms Sponsor 15 Local High School Students in Summer 2022

Denver, Colo. (August 3, 2022) – NAIOP Colorado launched a paid summer internship for high school students in partnership with Project Destined. Project Destined, founded by Cedric Bobo, has partnered with leading real estate firms across the country to provide diverse students with internship opportunities to explore ownership through live real estate deals. Students gain access to the experience and expertise of corporate mentors and industry executives as they examine pathways to careers in the field. The program is a ten-week virtual internship which commenced in June for 15 underrepresented high school students from across the Denver metro area.

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 included a “Shark Tank” style finale where intern teams presented a digital marketing plan for a live multifamily real estate deal to industry leaders.

Throughout the ten-weeks students learn the fundamentals of market research, value creation, and deal financing. Students emerge with the skills to secure internships and full-time job offers from some of the world’s largest real estate firms while becoming stakeholders in their community.

CJ Manning, Vice President at Prime West and the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at NAIOP Colorado, has led the way locally recruiting the best and brightest students from school districts across the Denver metropolitan area. Manning defines diversity as hiring for representation in a company, equity as giving all individuals equal access to opportunities, and inclusion as creating a sense of belonging for diverse talent to thrive.

Manning highlights the need for the commercial real estate industry to embrace a mindset shift away from soft diversity to hard diversity. “Soft diversity is hiring for representation to meet a quota or keep up with competitors. Whereas, hard diversity is hiring for inclusion and belonging, yielding a competitive advantage.”

“We are excited to expand our work and believe providing opportunities for future leaders early is key. Many of these students start with no prior real estate experience and to see what they were able to achieve in just ten-weeks is amazing. In partnership with Project Destined we’re developing a robust talent pipeline as we train the next generation of leaders and help them prepare for the workforce.” CJ Manning, Prime West.

Manning was ‘sold’ when Bobo invited him to serve as a judge for the Project Destined division finale and witnessed students presenting their sources and uses of capital required for their business, along with return metrics and sensitivity analysis.

“These are things we look at on a daily basis and it’s impressive to see young minds present this information with such poise and confidence,” he said.

Over 20 real estate firms sponsored the summer program, to include: Alcorn Construction; Baron Properties and Essex Financial Group; Brinkman Real Estate; Confluent Development; DPC Development; Evergreen Devco, Inc.; Fidelity National Title National Commercial Services; First American Title-NCS; Flywheel Capital; Golub & Company; Granite Properties; Hines; Hogan Lovells US LLP; Lincoln Property Company; Lowe; Mark IV Capital; McWhinney; Newmark; Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors; Prime West; United Properties; and Xcel Energy.

Jeff Dean, Senior Vice President with Mark IV Capital and Supporting Sponsor of the Project Destined program said, “Mark IV Capital was excited to play a role in helping expose top-tier, diverse Denver students to the industry through this hands-on “master class” format. Organizations are constantly seeking the best talent – and programs such as Project Destined help ensure the future holds more opportunities for both companies and candidates alike.”

Fellow Supporting Sponsor Michael Sapp, Manager of PSCo State Public Affairs with Xcel Energy, shared that "Xcel Energy is committed to reducing racial inequality as one of the most important things we can do to support the communities where we live, work and do businesses. We are honored to collaborate with the NAIOP Early Talent Program to cultivate inclusive, engaged and diverse future business leaders that reflects the communities we serve."

NAIOP Colorado Chapter will be partnering with Project Destined and area universities to host a similar program for undergraduate students this fall.

About NAIOP Colorado
The NAIOP Colorado Chapter provides advocacy, education, and business opportunities by connecting members in a powerful North American and Front Range network in the commercial real estate development and investment industry. We get business done. We create valuable, meaningful connections. We keep you current. We are a powerful voice. We actively advocate on your behalf at the local, state, and national levels to influence policies and regulations that affect our commercial real estate community.

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 nonprofits 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 solid first job and to become stakeholders in their community. For more information, please visit projectdestined.com.

Press Contact: CJ Manning, NAIOP Colorado DEI Chair and Vice President, Development - Prime West Companies
Direct: 919-805-1387
Email: [email protected]


Added to NAIOP Website on March 29, 2022

The NAIOP Colorado chapter is proud to announce two exciting partnerships with community organizations in the Denver area: Northeast Denver Leadership Week and Project Destined.

In conjunction with Denver Councilman Christopher Herndon, NAIOP Colorado’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee is coordinating a half-day program in Commercial Real Estate for the Northeast Denver Leadership Week, in June 2022. This program “offers high school students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to connect with civic and industry leaders throughout Denver. The program’s goal is to grow the next generation of leaders by educating students about careers in leadership and inspiring and motivating them to pursue such roles in their own careers." In support of this effort, the DEI Committee is currently seeking volunteers to host a construction site tour in the Northeast Denver area, as well as event volunteers to facilitate the programming. 

In complement to the Northeast Denver Leadership Week initiative, NAIOP Colorado announced that it will sponsor a local chapter of Project Destined. This unique program enlists top industry talent to mentor students in underserved communities and put them on track for internships or employment in the Commercial Real Estate industry. According to Project Destined, “we deliver our programming through the model: TRAIN, COMPETE, GROW. Students work with leading executives to evaluate live deals in their community and present them in a pitch competition.  Scholars emerge with the skills, confidence, experiences and networks that prepare them to secure a strong first job.” The local chapter of Project Destined will be funded in part by NAIOP Colorado and local CRE industry sponsors. In support of this effort, NAIOP Colorado will be seeking volunteers to serve as mentors, competition judges, panel speakers, host property tours, and conduct programming.

For more information on how to volunteer or sponsor either of these opportunities, please reach out to [email protected] for more information.