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Houston Association of Realtors makes first Realtor association donation to diversity-focused industry nonprofit

HAR donates $10,000 to the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation to help improve industry diversity

March 2, 2021 – The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation, the new industry nonprofit which helps people from underrepresented and underprivileged groups jumpstart real estate careers, has received its first Realtor association donation. The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), the nation’s second-largest local Realtor association with over 41,000 members, has donated $10,000 to the Foundation.

“We feel this is a meaningful and tangible step forward to help make a difference with diversity in our industry,” said Bob Hale, CEO of HAR.

Founded by real estate visionary Stefan Swanepoel, who first announced the effort in 2020, the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation formally launched in January after receiving its nonprofit status as a 501(c)(3) corporation. “By supporting people with the right tools and services, sharing best practices and a roadmap of how to succeed, you can make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Swanepoel, a bestselling author of over 50 books.

Beginning in the third quarter 2020, the Foundation will begin welcoming participants who will receive grants in addition to training, technology, coaching, Realtor association memberships, MLS fees, cash to subsidize some of the startup costs related to licensing as well as an opportunity to work for a real estate brokerage company.

Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, the Foundation’s newly appointed executive director, a licensed Realtor and former president of a Realtor association, challenged association leaders and brokers across the country to follow HAR’s lead and step up. “It’s time the industry walked their talk,” she said. “This is a perfect opportunity for everyone to participate in making the real estate industry more diverse.”

Hale echoed the challenge. “We hope that our commitment will encourage other Realtor associations and MLS organizations to also support the cause,” he added. The Foundation is currently accepting donations, services and support from brokerages, agents, vendors, associations and MLSs throughout the industry.

The Foundation is slated to announce it first board of governors at the end of March. For more details on the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation, visit

About The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation

The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation chartered to assist underrepresented and underprivileged people who wish to pursue a career as a real estate agent. The Foundation provides grants and guidance on becoming licensed, access to products and services, memberships to Realtor associations and MLSs, and access to brokerage companies desirous to hire new agents. For more information, visit

About HAR

The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) is a more than 41,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston, and the second-largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States. For more information, visit


Kenya Burrell-VanWormer

Executive Director, Real Estate Apprentice Foundation


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