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Fordham (University) Real Estate Institute Hosts High School Program Aimed at Fostering Diversity in Commercial Real Estate

Project REAP (Real Estate Associates Program) bridges the gap between upcoming minority talent and commercial real estate companies

Project REAP New York City Class of 2018 with counselors at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus.

In an effort to foster industry diversity and uphold its mission to educate the future of New York City real estate professionals, the Fordham Real Estate Institute (REI) recently hosted the 2018 Project REAP (Real Estate Associates Program) initiative. Eighty-four minority high school students from Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia and South Africa participated in the robust 12-day program that covered numerous aspects of the commercial real estate industry at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.

According to Project REAP, less than one-percent of minorities assume management-level positions in the commercial real estate industry. This is less than 1,000 people of color in an industry with more than 125,000 professionals. Project REAP aims to change this statistic by providing talented teens of color with early exposure to the commercial real estate industry.

“We are proud to support this impactful initiative and help Project REAP introduce all that real estate has to offer to these inspiring students,” said Anthony R. Davidson, Ph.D., dean of Fordham’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. “Our Lincoln Center campus, located in the heart of the real estate capital of the world, served as the perfect backdrop for the program. We look forward to cultivating a lasting partnership and increasing engagement with Project REAP, and these deserving young people, in the years to come.”

As part of the program, students were guided through the following Project REAP curriculum, in addition to taking SAT prep courses: 

  • A View of the Real Estate Industry
  • Financial Analysis
  • Development
  • Asset Management/Property Management
  • Market Analysis
  • Investment Sales/Brokerage
  • Leasing/Lease Analysis

The 2018 Project REAP class was carefully selected from a pool of 148 applicants through a rigorous screening, testing and interviewing process. Only 32-percent of accepted students had prior knowledge of the commercial real estate industry. After completing the program, 98-percent of students stated that they now understand the career options in the field and 64-percent shared that they plan to consider a career in commercial real estate.

Project REAP is the result of a collaboration between the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC), Liberty Property Trust, NAIOP (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association) and NEXUS Summer Programs.

“Project REAP’s baseline impact is its effect on the social and emotional wellbeing of the students,” said Ric Ramsey, founder and CEO, NEXUS Summer Programs. “Initiatives like this are not only good for the professional (commercial real estate) industry, but the programs also benefit students by addressing nonacademic components that they can take with them into, through and after college.”

The Real Estate Institute is a part of Fordham’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. For more information, visit


The Fordham Real Estate Institute currently offers a Master of Science in Real Estate, a graduate certificate, and a comprehensive array of professional real estate certificates at its campuses in Manhattan and West Harrison, New York. Serving professionals and owners/investors of all stripes, the MSRE curriculum presents the essential elements of real estate finance, investment, development and management. Both programs developed and taught by leading industry practitioners are centered on imparting real-world professional skill sets. Flexibility and convenience are program hallmarks: classes can be taken in-person, online, and at various paces. The Real Estate Institute is a part of Fordham’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. For more information, visit

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