Marshall Bennett Real Estate Institute at Roosevelt University (MBIRE) today announced that DL3 Realty, a Chicago-based minority development company, has established a new DL3 Realty Impact Scholarship Fund, which will provide $ 10,000 scholarships annually to underrepresented students seeking a certificate of higher education in real estate development. Two qualified applicants for the certification program will be awarded $ 5,000 each starting in the 2021-22 academic year.
“DL3 Realty’s generous support will make the knowledge of commercial real estate graduates available to color professionals, enabling them to pursue their careers in an industry that has long struggled with lack of diversity,” said Collett English Dixon, executive director of the Marshall Bennett Real Estate Institute.
In the fall of 2020, MBIRE launched two programs for obtaining graduate certificates: “Finance and Real Estate Investment” and “Real Estate Development”. These new post-baccalaureate options were created due to demand from professionals looking to improve their skills without having to commit to a two-year master’s degree. An MBIRE certificate can be obtained in two semesters, with two courses each semester. Classes are scheduled in the evenings to make it easier for students to work during the day.
“I know firsthand how difficult it is for a person of color to enter commercial real estate, so I want to help minority students, especially those seeking community development,” said Leon Walker, Esq., Managing Partner at DL3 Realty. a firm that has invested over $ 100 million over the past few years in real estate development in some of Chicago’s most needy neighborhoods. “I am very enthusiastic about mentoring our fellows on our ‘enterprise development’ approach, which involves partnering with private investors, local authorities and civil society organizations to transform historically deprived communities through inclusive development.”
Professionals with a bachelor’s degree and preferably with experience in commercial real estate can now apply for the MBIRE graduate certificate program and a new scholarship for the fall 2021 semester.
Below are additional guidelines and criteria for the DL3 Realty Impact Scholarship Fund:
- Students must be enrolled in the certification program after completing their Bachelor’s Degree in Real Estate Development.
- Preference is given to African American or Latino students, as well as students who demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.
- Scholarship recipients must maintain a GPA of 3.0 to extend the scholarship.
- The foundation awards scholarships to at least two students annually.
- Scholarship recipients are required to attend additional programs hosted by MBIRE and attend industry events hosted by DL3 Realty. Students will be invited to post on DL3 Realty publications and on social platforms.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a DL3 Realty Impact Scholars cohort of at least four to eight students,” Walker said. “But for this we need additional commitments of at least $ 10,000. There has been a lot of talk about promoting the CRE diversity needle and this is one of the real opportunities for other real estate firms to make it a reality. “
Walker also encourages students to use one of DL3’s development projects as a student “community project,” a requirement for graduation. Other plans for the group include either guest lectures from developer sponsors or two to four lunch and training sessions with developers during the school year.
Last year, MBIRE honored Walker with the Changemaker Award 2020 at its 19th Annual and First Virtual Real Estate Gala. “We want to create a new narrative of what it means to participate in communities of color and how we make inspiring investments that provide both financial rewards and positive social impact,” says Walker. “Our projects bring light, opportunity and hope that inspire people to take different steps and make positive choices.”
For students who wish to pursue their studies, a Certificate of Completion for a Real Estate Development course provides over 50% of the credits required to complete a Master’s in Real Estate from MBIRE.