New York natives and superstar couple, J.Lo and A-Rod decided to forego the red carpets this week for a boardroom at Yankee stadium in the Bronx. Both are mentors working with Project Destined, a non-profit organization designed to “transform minority youth into owners and stakeholders in the communities in which they live, work and play.”
“So today I spent the day in the Bronx at Yankee stadium with a very special group of people for a very impactful project called @projectdestined,” J.Lo said in an Instagram caption. “The project teaches financial literacy to children in neighborhoods like I grew up in… so people from Harvard business school teach and mentor these kids on how to buy and own real estate and by the end of the program they own a part of a building in their own community in which the profits they make go toward their college educations…it shows them they have a choice they don’t have to be a tenant…you can be an owner!!!”
Sponsors for the program include corporate powerhouses like Viacom, MasterCard, the Gray Foundation, and the James and Judith Diamond Foundation.
Lopez continued in her caption, “… it’s so much more than I could ever write here… it’s a game changer for anyone to be apart of this program! I am proud to be a part of it along with @arod (and if you look closely you will see a Supreme Court judge, Bronx Borough President, President of Blackstone, Yankee legend Mariano Rivera and so many more) here on a Sunday to be part of letting these kids know that anything is possible and sky is the limit!!!”
J.Lo and and A-Rod are two of the program’s biggest supporters. The program works without about 50 students from three high schools and the City University of New York.
“I was born right down the street in Washington Heights,” said the former Yankee. “I have always loved baseball and business. Real estate is a way out of the hood.”
At the end of the program, the students participated in a Saturday session in the Viacom building in Times Square, where they worked with Harvard Business School mentors on real estate presentations. The following day, they delivered the presentations to a panel of experts in a setup similar to that of Shark Tank. Regardless of the outcome of the presentations, all students can continue with Project Destined and receive scholarship money from the buildings the nonprofit owns.
“This project is such a special thing because it’s teaching children at this level in inner cities to know what it is to actually own something very early,” Lopez said of the program. “I have been in entertainment and branding for 25 years now, but this is a whole other language that most people don’t know, and to be able to teach this to kids that don’t have the Harvard education is a beautiful thing because it’s not just about owning your life, it’s not about owning property. It’s about learning how to manage everything about your life.”