Written by: Samantha Enos – Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Windermere Real Estate
Formed in partnership with the University of Washington College of Built Environments, Windermere’s Aspire internship program launched in July 2021. The internship offers financial support, mentoring, and skill-building through academic and professional office settings to students, with a focus on those from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups.
2021 Aspire Internship
The inaugural Aspire internship began on July 13, 2021, with a class of eight interns. Over the course of the eight-week program, the interns learned about the role homeownership plays in building thriving communities while working side by side with real estate professionals and academic leaders. All eight interns completed the program and received a $5,000 scholarship. The interns’ hard work paid off beyond the classroom as well. One group’s presentation contributed to the creation of the WIN Scholarship Program and one alumnus was hired at a Windermere office in Seattle.
2022 Aspire Internship
The success of the inaugural Aspire internship propelled the second iteration to new heights. In the summer of 2022, 18 University of Washington students participated in the program, more than doubling the number from the year before. The interns were hosted by eight Windermere offices and three ancillary partners (CW Title, Penrith Home Loans, and HomeSight) over an eight-week period. This year, students received a $3,000 stipend in lieu of the previous year’s $5,000 scholarship, thus allowing the University of Washington to support more students through the program.
Striving for improved housing solutions, the students conducted five unique presentations showcasing their knowledge gained through the program. Curriculum covered how international affordable housing models could be applied in the U.S., how NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) stifles the ability to combat other housing solutions for missing middle housing, redlined areas, and homelessness, and how prefabricated housing could lower costs, increase population density, and create more housing units. The final presentation consisted of students creating an apartment rental guide for clients to represent the housing lifecycle.
We are thankful for the Windermere owners and executive team members who hosted the students, making this year’s Aspire program a success. We look forward to working with a new class of Aspire interns in 2023.
To learn more about our DEI Initiatives like the Aspire internship program, visit Windermere.com/dei.
Samantha Enos currently serves on the Seattle-King County REALTORS® Board of Directors, is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Mentorship program and was recently appointed as the Chairperson of the Seattle-King County REALTORS® DEI committee. She also volunteers on the Juanita High School DEI committee.
Featured Image Credit: Windermere Services Company