Cohort Four of the Real Estate Fellows at The University of Baltimore
The fourth cohort of The University of Baltimore Real Estate Fellows are working to address critical development needs within Baltimore's middle-market neighborhoods. UBalt students and alumni will have 10-weeks of mentoring from seasoned real estate professionals. After the mentoring sessions, students will then identify a neighborhood, create a project, complete a development plan, and develop an application for financing. The winning proposal will get the necessary financing up to $1 million in a Guidance Line of Credit from Baltimore Community Lending to proceed with the project. The culmination of a the work will have each student or team of students share their plan in the "Pitch for a Million" competition.
Learn more about the selection process.
The University of Baltimore Real Estate Fellows and Venture Challenge (REFVC) is sponsored Baltimore Community Lending, and the UBalt Real Estate and Economic Development Advisory Board.
Meet Real Estate Fellows
Briya Brown earned a B.A. in Political Science, a B.A. in Spanish Language, and a Minor in Latin American Studies from Salisbury University in 2016. Briya then earned her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2021 and is now a practicing attorney in the State of Maryland. Briya is now completing her final semester in the pursuit of a Master’s in Business Administration with a specialization in Leadership and Management Development. She is expected to graduate from the University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business in December 2023. Her practice as an attorney is devoted to serving minority communities in the areas of Immigration and Medical Malpractice. Briya is also a business owner and a published author. Her hobbies include boxing, working out, and traveling.
Why the Fellows program?
As a self-proclaimed servant of the people, I have dedicated my life to the prosperity of vulnerable communities by tackling the wealth gap, health and legal disparities, and promoting intergenerational mobility through several entrepreneurial endeavors such as real estate, legal services, financial services, and health and wellness services. The Fellows program aligns with my mission to rehabilitate, restore, revitalize and power the advancement of underserved communities in Baltimore. This program will also provide a platform for me to network with like-minded individuals, to gain resources and be a resource to others, as well as to grow as a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, and a leader. I believe that this program will be pivotal in my journey of transforming Baltimore one block at a time.
Kichonee Davis is a Baltimore native residing in City Center. She began her career in real estate working with underprivileged youth experiencing homelessness and aided in shelter and mental health advocacy through HUD. She is now working in Commercial Real Estate providing asset management and producing many warehouses that bring jobs to Baltimore City and the surrounding counties. She believe in physical, mental and emotional well-being. She likes to exercise in her spare time, cook meals for her family and spend time with loved ones. She enjoy foreign films, live concerts, and supporting my friends who are in the independent local art community.
Why the Fellows program? Being a real estate fellow is the catalyst for the change I wish to evoke in Baltimore City. Throughout the years I have seen many ups and downs in our neighborhoods. With this fellowship, I would be able to harness specific information and industry tools for lasting impact. As a Baltimorean, it is a personal mission and call to action for our citizens to have fellow community members speak and work for them in ways they may not. Baltimore deserves to be a home where people can work, live, and be entertained with many options. Placing value and generational culture in the spaces we call home is an honorable duty to be thrust upon me. I believe housing and community are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and to be able to provide that for all is a dream I plan to turn into reality.
Samantha Mellerson is a current UBalt MBA student who came back to the University after earning a B.S. in Business Administration with a specialization in entreprenuership. She is a first generation college graduate, self-employed, a small business owner, artist and philanthropist.Why the Fellows program?
I’m interested in learning more about development as I originally pitched to Henry, J.C and Kathea upon my E-Fellowship entry, my “HeARTIST Development” venture. I soon learned I was incompetent regarding what it takes to solving the housing crisis in MD. This includes costs, permits, etc. To become well-versed in anything, you must understand the market and its customers. I want to be shielded with knowledge and understanding when searching and communicating with contractors and suppliers etc. I don’t want to be take advantage of . This program will better prepare me for my longstanding dream and pursuit of becoming a developer.
Ikechukwu Opaigbeogu With a background in finance, Ike has honed his expertise in financial strategies, management, and complex problem-solving. Yet, his true passion lies in real estate, prompting him to pivot his career path. Now, as a dedicated investor-focused real estate agent, he manages midterm and long-term rentals, emphasizing genuine connections, and exceptional service. He is actively engaged in the Baltimore REIA group, fostering collaboration among like-minded individuals, and gained hands-on experience in construction. He has a deep concern for Baltimore's future as it has been his home for over a decade. It drives him to make a difference. Ike aspires to transform the city, combating violence and poverty through affordable housing and empowering education. He is building his experience and network to accomplish these real estate goals. He wants to help people by guiding them towards long-term wealth and a brighter future.
Why the Fellows program? Real estate has been a longstanding personal passion of mine, and I have actively pursued this passion by obtaining my real estate agent license and becoming an investor. Currently, I manage two properties—one as a mid-term rental and the other as a long-term rental. My goal is to leverage this opportunity and the resources available through this program to bring about tangible change in Baltimore city. I am determined to reshape the narrative of a city plagued by gun violence into a thriving and prosperous community akin to cities like Los Angeles or New York.
Phaedra Stewart is a former Human Resources executive with over 25 years of HR experience within multiple industries including health care, higher education, manufacturing, State government and data processing. Phaedra has an undergraduate degree in Economics from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and an MBA in Human Resource Management from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore. As Vice President of Human Resources, Phaedra oversaw HR Operations, Employee and Labor Relations, Occupational Health and Workforce Development for a health-care organization in the Maryland area. She left corporate America in August, 2020 to re-launch her business, Seriously Positive, LLC. The business operates under five guiding principles:
- Seriously…Loving Who I Am
- Seriously…Putting God First
- Seriously…Respecting Myself and Others
- Seriously…Focusing on My Future
- Seriously…Making My Family Proud
The legs of the business are all centered around these principles. One leg of the business is real estate investment. Phaedra recognizes the challenge in people maintaining a healthy mental state when their living conditions are inadequate and/or they have to see blight consistently. As a native of Baltimore City, her goal is to help to rebuild properties and communities in the city, ultimately providing citizens with a higher sense of pride and self-worth. Where you dwell and the appearance of your surroundings have a direct impact on how you feel about yourself. When you constantly see blight all around you, and you do not have access to the basics in life, it can cause you to believe that you are inferior. The goal is to rebuild commun
Why the Fellows program? I want to play a major role in helping with the elevation of Baltimore City, providing quality, affordable housing, and rebuilding neighborhoods and communities. I believe the fellows program will help me to strengthen my foundational knowledge of real estate development and allow me to have access to resources that will help me to build on that foundation. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the creation and potential execution of a major real estate development project for Baltimore City. As part of the process, I will be learning about financial resources that are available to small businesses for real estate development projects, receiving mentorship that will help me to scale my business, and building my network so that I develop long-term relationships with like-minded people.
Robert White 's bio is pending
Why the Fellows program? pending