Project Destined has partnered with multifamily real estate investment firm Cortland to launch the Atlanta Ideas Challenge, the first event in the organization’s youth education program.
On Nov. 3, Project Destined will continue its mission to help underserved youth become real estate stakeholders in their communities by offering scholars a unique chance to tour the Battery Atlanta. After viewing the $700 million residential, office, retail and entertainment hub surrounding the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park, they will reimagine how a similar concept could work in underserved areas along the Atlanta BeltLine. Teams will then present their ideas in a Shark Tank-style panel to Cortland real estate executives and Project Destined mentors at Cortland at the Battery Atlanta, the 531-unit apartment community at Battery Atlanta.
“We are thrilled to establish a partnership with Cortland to provide real world experience, which in turn, expands our scholars’ possibilities for their future and the future of their communities,” Project Destined Co-Founder Cedric Bobo said. “Whether you want to be a doctor or nurse or engineer, you can still learn how to invest. Because if your neighborhood changes, you become an investor in it.”
“I’ve often said that Cortland is in the business of people – we just happen to own and manage real estate,” said Cortland CEO Steven DeFrancis. “We love the multifamily industry and the opportunities it provides to create homes for our residents. We are pleased to be able to help Project Destined introduce young, Atlanta scholars in underserved communities to the opportunities for personal and professional growth, as well as the ability to create community through the business of commercial real estate.”
With successful programs in Miami, Detroit, and Memphis, and the Bronx, Project Destined exposes scholars to all aspects of the real estate investment life cycle. They gain access to real estate professionals, analyze real estate opportunities and help invest real capital into projects within their own communities. To date, 150 students have gone through the program and participants have won more than $75,000 in scholarships.
In Atlanta, 60 students were selected from local high schools and colleges, including Banneker High School, Tri-Cities High School, Langston Hughes High School, Frederick Douglass High School, Henry W. Grady High School, Morehouse, Spelman and Georgia Tech. Cortland representatives and mentors from Harvard Business School, Emory University's Goizueta Business School, and the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia will lead monthly sessions, which will include a deep dive into architecture and construction, finance and deal structuring, and operations and property management.
About Project Destined
Project Destined is 501(c)3 non-profit that administers a real estate based applied youth education program designed to promote financial literacy, leadership development and access to mentorship opportunities yielding increased competitiveness of urban youth. Across multiple modules, Project Destined scholars gain exposure to all aspects of the real estate investment life cycle while gaining exposure to real industry professionals, analyzing real opportunities and helping to invest real capital into real estate within their own communities. For more information visit,
Atlanta-based multifamily real estate company Cortland is a product-to-people, multifamily real estate investment, development, and management company, dedicated to resident-centric, hospitality-driven living experiences. All aspects of Cortland’s business are in-house, including construction, design, and property management. Cortland owns and manages 140 apartment communities with more than 50,000 homes in the US with regional offices in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, and Orlando. In 2015, the company opened a global materials sourcing office in Shanghai, and in 2017, it expanded its development platform into the UK. Cortland is a National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Top 50 Owner and Manager and is ranked 7th among Atlanta’s “Top 25 Large Workplaces” (2017). For more information, please visit

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