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Congratulations to our Real Estate Co-Powerment Graduates!

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Photos courtesy of Ya Momz House, Inc.

Please join us in congratulating the third cohort of the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series!

Kevin Boyle

Tayler Clemm

DeAnna Davis

Jasmine Duncan

Brian Gaudio

Alicia Hall

Lance Harrell

Charlotte Ka

Emma Lucas-Darby

Sontaya Perry

Charlise Smith

Ali Simms

Michael Watson

Dan Yablonsky

The Real Estate Co-Powerment Series is an education platform co-created by Neighborhood Allies and Omicelo Cares designed to demystify the real estate development process, explain it’s associated terminology and bring to light the productive role community members and organization play in the real estate and economic development inside their neighborhoods.

Since launching in early 2017, we have graduated 37 students (three cohorts) from neighborhoods on the cusp of significant change, including Neighborhood Allies’ 6 priority geographies as well as additional participants from other local neighborhoods. Our diverse roster of graduates range from community residents, CDC/CBO staff members, non-profit board members, and small business owners, and each have varying levels of exposure to the real estate discipline.

Who the Co-Powerment Series is serving:

We are intentional about delivering this resource directly to the people and organizations who are leading and participating in development projects in Pittsburgh neighborhoods.  To date, all participants have demonstrated a level of participation with a local nonprofit, CDC, or CBO.

The Co-Powerment Series is has served over 65% female participants and over 70% minority residents since it’s inception. As the program evolves and grows, so have our students. In the 1st cohort, 50% of participants were business owners or employed by community-based organizations. In the 2nd cohort, about 25% of participants were business owners while almost 60% were employed or formally affiliated with CBO’s. Finally, the 3rd cohort represented almost 80% business owners and 40% were employed or formally affiliated with CBO’s.

Our graduates hold leadership roles, are staff members or are volunteers from numerous community serving organizations across the city including: Larimer Consensus Group, Beltzhoover Consensus Group, Lincoln-Lemington Revitalization Group, Hill CDC, Hill House Assocation, WAVE (Women Against Violence Enterprises), Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar Development Corporation, Center for Civic Arts, Perry Hilltop & Fineview Citizen’s Council, Ujamaa Collective, Wilkinsburg CDC, Focus PGH, Urban Kind Institute, Riverside Center for Innovation, Bike PGH, New Sun Rising, Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce, Operation Better Block, Sankofa Village and Hazelwood Initiative among many others.

Some accomplishments of our graduates:

  • Tenika Chavis, a graduate of our first cohort has grown her construction business significantly, referencing the skills, knowledge and connections she acquired in the program. She also has a property that she is purchasing under contract and plans to purchase another three unit property with the intention of rehabbing it and affordably renting to veterans.
  • Denise Edwards, a Fall 2017 alumni, recently delivered remarks at the graduation ceremony on August 9th. She is a new real estate agent with Albert Anthony, while still spearheading development of the Lincoln-Lemington Revitalization Group.
  • Billie Vaughn, also a graduation speaker and Spring 2017 alumni, is now a lease analyst at Jones Lang Lasalle and founder of Common Unity PGH, providing a landlord liaison service for Section 8 and low-income housing.

Testimonials from our graduates:

“The Co-Powerment Series has expanded my knowledge from all aspects when it comes to real estate, community empowerment, and development.”

“ I really enjoyed the more technical aspects of the course… tax credits, proforma, community land trusts, etc.”

“Good energy in the class… I think that folks are looking for ways that community development can happen differently… That is certainly a passion of mine.”

“This was a great learning experience. I highly recommend this course to every community development group or anyone interested in pursuing real estate development.”

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