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NAIOP Arizona kicks off 2nd semester of Junior Achievement course  

NAIOP Arizona members Jim Mahoney (left) and Brady Maus with Trammell Crow Company lead students on the first day of the second semester partnering with Junior Achievement of Arizona to teach a course titled “Real Estate Development and the Built Environment” to students at Gateway Early College High School. (File Photos/
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Arizona Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, kicked off the second semester of partnering with Junior Achievement of Arizona to teach a course titled “Real Estate Development and the Built Environment” to students at Gateway Early College High School, 108 N. 40th St. in Phoenix.

During the five-class program, volunteers from NAIOP Arizona use a curriculum originally designed by industry group REIAC and further refined by NAIOP volunteers to teach students the basics of commercial real estate development, including different building types, entitlements and zoning, financing a project, putting together a team, and finding tenants, according to a press release.

The second semester launched on Oct. 12 and culminates on Nov. 4 with student competition. The instructor this semester is Kanisha Saunders.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Junior Achievement of Arizona to offer a quality curriculum that introduces high school students to the development process and careers in commercial real estate,” said Suzanne Kinney, president and CEO of the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP. “Making sure that young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to learn about rewarding career paths in real estate is a priority for our association.”

This semester’s volunteers are Jim Mahoney and Brady Maus, Trammell Crow Company; Samantha Pinkal, Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC); Eric Whitehurst, Kimley-Horn; David Kinney, Raintree Captial; Alex Boles and Rodney Bowden, ViaWest Group; Peggy Maxwell, Plaza Companies; and Stirling Pascal, STREAM Realty. 

“A critical, and unfortunately, often lacking part of today’s learning experience is the exploration of future career possibilities. At Junior Achievement, we bridge the gap between what students learn in the classroom and what employers need in their future workforce,” said Colleen Cox, senior vice president of education at Junior Achievement of Arizona.

“Partnering with organizations like NAIOP to help students imagine a future in fields that offer high-wage, high-growth opportunities is good for Arizona – for the future employees, industries and the community as a whole,” Ms. Cox said. “We are proud to partner with NAIOP and inspire the future generation of Arizona developers.”

NAIOP is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial, retail, multifamily and mixed-use real estate, the release states. NAIOP comprises 20,000 members in North America and advances responsible commercial real estate development and advocates for effective public policy, the release states.

Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) is a 501© (3) nonprofit organization that equips Arizona students to succeed in work and life by giving them the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money, plan for their future, and make smart academic, career and economic choices.

Since 1957, JA has taught kids, kindergarten through high school, about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The organization’s hands-on, age-appropriate programs are delivered by more than 5,000 corporate and community volunteers. Despite educational obstacles during the pandemic, JA reached approximately 100,000 students in the 2021-2022 school year. 

For information on upcoming classes, follow @JAArizona on social media, or visit for more free online educational tools.

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