Culminating in a capstone project presentation, a group of 40 high school seniors have successfully completed the fourth consecutive year of a partnership between L+M and PENCIL, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that connects high school students to business leaders, helping to foster the next generation of real estate professionals.
L+M staff volunteered for over six months to mentor the students, who comprise the entire senior class at Murray Hill Academy, a public high school in Manhattan. The program featured a curriculum designed by L+M team members with the purpose of exposing students to various career opportunities in the real estate industry.
Students attended one-hour workshop sessions monthly and were mentored by seven L+M real estate professionals who represent various departments, including asset management, development, accounting, pre-construction, and community investment. The students learned various aspects of real estate development, including site analysis, pre-construction and design, construction, and marketing and leasing.
Throughout the program, the students visited L+M’s Manhattan office for the sessions, and L+M mentors also traveled to Murray Hill Academy. The program concluded with a capstone project in which the students were tasked to form teams and devise a development plan for a surface parking lot site in East Harlem using the knowledge they gained from the sessions.
In addition to learning the technical abilities of varying real estate professions, the students also developed abilities that will be vital in college and in their future careers, such as presentation skills, collaboration, teamwork, ambition, and creativity.
PENCIL began in 1995 with a goal to raise awareness about public education by inviting civic and business leaders into New York City public schools. Since then, the organization has linked more than 50,000 students and professionals together through a variety of programs.
L+M has collectively mentored more than 100 students over the four years of the partnership, including instructing students remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the years, multiple students have taken part in internship opportunities at L+M after completing their PENCIL mentorship programs, deepening their experience and passion for real estate development.