Myles Franklin wasn't really interested in real estate. In fact, he never really thought about it. As a high schooler growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, he was more interested in graduating from Central High School and preparing for his first year at George Washington University than he was becoming the next real estate tycoon.
That all changed when he was introduced to Project Destined, a non-profit that teaches real estate basics, financial literacy and leadership development to teenagers from underserved communities across the country. The program was founded in 2016 by Cedric Bobo and Fred Greene. Bobo is also a Memphis native and graduate of Central High.
"We had a connection there," said Franklin, when discussing how he got involved in Project Destined. Through the program, Franklin was one of twenty students from the Memphis area to learn about the real estate investment life cycle and connect with industry professionals. The Memphis program culminated with the founders purchasing of an eight-unit apartment building in the Midtown/Medical District. According to Project Destined, "Twenty percent of all residual cashflow and investor profits will be granted to the program participants as scholarship capital."
The end of the program was a new beginning for Franklin.
"It just so happened that Bobo was in D.C. doing a presentation at Freddie Mac literally the same day I was at my college orientation at George Washington University," said Franklin, who tagged along and met with Freddie Mac President David Brickman and other executives. "I just kept in touch."
Shortly thereafter, he heard about an internship opportunity, interviewed, and joined Freddie Mac as an underwriting intern this summer.
"[Project Destined] gave me a totally new experience in a new industry," said Franklin, who also interned at Artemis Real Estate Partners. "Before that, I didn't really know the industry or profession that I wanted to pursue, possibly law… maybe politics. It could have been anything."
Even though his internship at Freddie Mac is over, Franklin, now a sophomore at GWU, wouldn't rule out a return in the future.
"The environment is really great," he said of Freddie Mac. "It's corporate America, but it doesn't have a corporate feel. The secondary mortgage market is how people get the funds to buy real estate. It's like, if the real estate industry was like the clothing industry, it's Freddie Mac that is giving people the material to make the clothes. It's essential."