Introducing the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation

The residential real estate industry has an incredible opportunity to improve diversity in its ranks. The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation was designed to serve as a vehicle for companies and individuals throughout the industry to come together and help more people from underrepresented and underprivileged communities develop lasting real estate careers.
Authored by:
Kenya Burrell-VanWormer
January 2021

The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation, the national 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to improving diversity in the residential real estate brokerage industry, is now live! As executive director, I will strive to help the Foundation achieve a lofty goal by 2030: help 40,000 people from underprivileged and underrepresented groups jumpstart lasting real estate careers. T3 Sixty and its chairman and CEO Stefan Swanepoel have spearheaded the Foundation.

To achieve the foundation’s big goal will require an industrywide effort in the form of support, sponsorships and guidance. That is part of the Foundation’s design – to bring together a existing real estate companies, leaders and individuals to help make the industry stronger and more diverse. The Foundation, which will be led by a board of 20 governors named in March 2021, will support participants with mentorship, tools and guidance and some financial assistance to help them launch their career.

In exercising its mission, the Foundation hopes to support underrepresented and underprivileged people, to help its membership more reflect the diversity of the country at large. The stats below illustrate some of the disproportion the real estate industry and America at large faces.

Foundation Details

The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation will assist any person wishing to pursue a career as a real estate agent by providing them the specific and necessary tools, services, memberships and guidance to become licensed, join the requisite Realtor associations and MLS, start working at a respected real estate brokerage and to pursue a purposeful and sustainable, financially successful career.

The support comes in the form of  a grant that is expected to range from $2,000 to $3,000 to help subsidize the startup costs of a real estate career, which quickly grow to well over $5,000. Some of the support may include state licensing fees, Realtor association fees, MLS fees, lead-generation marketing, CRM software, coaching and more.

Grantees must complete the required pre-license education and pass their state real estate license examination within one year of applying for a grant.

To reach its lofty goal of helping 40,000 people from underprivileged and underrepresented groups start real estate careers, the Foundation is looking to raise $100 million in donations and sponsorships from large industry participants and real estate agents and identifying, selecting and supporting grant recipients. All companies in the industry are encouraged to participate by providing donations and mentorship support.

Brokerages, franchisors, agents, vendors, associations and MLSs can participate in this meaningful cause by providing donations, services and support. They can also contribute in other ways, through services and mentorship.

To learn more about sponsoring, visit this page. The Foundation has a target to begin accepting applications and welcoming participants in the third quarter of 2021.

If you have any questions or ideas for how to partner or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Real Estate Apprentice Foundation Executive Director Kenya Burrell-VanWormer at

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