Actress Jennifer Lopez is lending a helping hand to a new program that’s aiming to spark an early interest in real estate among inner-city teenagers, CNBC reports.
Project Destined aims to teach teens financial literacy via investments in real estate, providing insights into how to value and finance local apartment buildings. Teens are also given the chance to share in real profits from those properties.
"Everything we do is pragmatic,” said Cedric Bobo, principal and co-founder of Project Destined and a former executive with the Carlyle Group. "Real estate is tangible, and having grown up in a household where you've seen your parents lose your home, real estate plays an ever-present part of your life."
With Project Destined, teens gain access to professionals in the real estate industry, and can analyze genuine opportunities for investing capital into real estate in their communities, CNBC said.
"I also think it's easy to understand for kids, so my philosophy in life is, I want you to be a part of your neighborhood's change; I don't want you just to be watching," says Bobo.
The project was first launched in Detroit, and has been piloted in other cities besides. Bobo said he plans to grow Project Destined into a full-fledged network of young investors who’ll be able to collaborate on future projects.
Actress Lopez said she was supporting the initiative because many of the skills it teaches are hard to come by for younger generations.
"This project is such a special thing because it's teaching children at this level in inner cities to know what it is to actually own something very early," Lopez said. "I have been in entertainment and branding for 25 years now, but this is a whole other language that most people don't know, and to be able to teach this to kids that don't have the Harvard education is a beautiful thing because it's not just about owning your life, it's not about owning property.”