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RISMEDIA, March 9, 2007-(Part 5 of 5) They say that with a career in real estate the sky is the limit. This dream still remains a strong draw for those desiring to enter the wonderful world of real estate sales. The final two Top 10 finalists for the Grand Prize Grant of $70,000 in real estate education products, services, education and mentoring contributed by benevolent companies desiring to help rookie agents make a success of their new career in real estate. By becoming Top 10 finalists, both are guaranteed grants of $7,000 regardless of whether or not they become the Grand Prize Winner next Wednesday or not.

Real Estate Apprentice Grant Finalist #9, Nayeli Garcia-Selvaraj, was welcomed into this world by cockroaches in an apartment on the "bad" side of town. Her parents were poor immigrants who spoke no English, and her father was a house painter who struggled financially. She helped her father during the summers with his house-painting business and learned the valuable lessons of perseverance and entrepreneurship. Today, because of her background, Nayeli has a passionate desire to help low-income families, first-time homeowners and limited-English families become homeowners. She became a first generation college graduate who earned a B.S. in Psychology (summa cum laude) and a M.Ed. in School Counseling (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland, College Park. If that is not enough, she also graduated as valedictorian.

Finalist #10, Nina Chen, was born and raised in the Greater Philadelphia area and has a similar story. Her father is elderly, her mother has polio and is paralyzed from the waist down, and they were a very low-income family that at one point were supported by welfare.

"When I was younger, I believed that this was all that I would get out of life. It wasn't until a few years ago that my eyes were opened to the opportunities around me. It was then that I realized that if I put my mind to it, set my goals and applied my ‘plan of action,' I, too, could live the American Dream."

After graduating from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from Pennsylvania State University, Chen joined Shirley Hsi at RE/MAX Centre Realty and is currently working as a buyer's agent. In less than two months in the business, she had one listing and two closed transactions.

"Both Nayeli Garcia-Selvaraj and Nina Chen exemplify the character, perseverance, fortitude, and courage that the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation is looking for in its grant applicants," said Dr. Martin Oliver, deputy executive director. "This does not mean that the only people with rags to riches stories receive grants. As a matter of fact every applicant, regardless of their final standing in the competition, qualifies for a minimum grant of $250 worth of fast track products and services. However, the Foundation is always looking for people who have spirit, the right attitude, a determination to succeed and integrity."

Nayeli Garcia-Selvaraj

Garcia-Selvaraj received her real estate training through Career WebSchool in Atlanta and has become an affiliate with Long & Foster in Leesburg, Virginia. For the past two years she created a Spanish tutoring/teaching business and also works as a Conversational Spanish Instructor for her local school district. From 2001-2005, Garcia-Selvaraj worked as a licensed school counselor for both a middle and high school. She would often meet with parents to advise them on strategies to assist their children concerning their personal goals and college preparedness.

Nina Chen

Nina Chen received her real estate training through Polley Associates in Pennsylvania. When asked to explain why she would succeed in real estate when others around her may fail she had the following to say: "You are what you eat! And that same principle applies to those with whom you associate. As the old adage says, ‘success breeds success.' I truly believe this and I strive to surround myself with prosperous individuals. Not only do I enjoy their company but I also rub their tummies for good luck!"

The grand prize winner, semi-finalists, and honorable mentions will be announced on March 14, 2007. Proud Sponsors of Season V include: First American, Hobbs/Herder, RealtyU, eNeighborhoods, McLean International, Thomson Publishing, iSucceed, Calculated Industries, CreateAPlan, The Real Estate Cyberspace Society, ExpressCopy, VisualTours, Broker Agent News and RIS Media.

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