MURFREESBORO — Three grateful MTSU students in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business recently received a financial boost to their educational aspirations from the Women in Commercial Real Estate Nashville chapter.
Scholarship recipient Marcela Arredondo, a senior from Franklin, Tennessee, received a $1,000 scholarship from the networking group, while junior Keysha Honey of Murfreesboro and senior Jessica Rae Vega of Franklin received $500 each. All are majoring in finance with concentrations in real estate.
“We want to build a strong relationship with MTSU,” said WCRE chapter President Rhonda Thomas, who visited campus in late October to award the scholarships at the Business and Aerospace Building.
Started in 1991 to promote networking among women in the industry, WCRE Nashville later created a scholarship fund for female real estate students in conjunction with the creation of the group’s Legacy Award in 2010.
“We want to mentor (students) and bring them up so that they can see the trails that we’ve blazed, learn from our mistakes and go even further in the field,” Thomas said.
Arredondo said the scholarship was “a blessing” because she’s already working full time at an area restaurant to pay for school. This keeps her on track to graduate in May 2016 and begin a career in the industry.
“This funding is just the added push, someone believing in me,” she said. “I have another reason to finish up. There’s no reason to stop.”
Added Honey: “It’s always nice to get help with paying for my education. It’s especially nice to meet women who are already in the field.”
Vega, also scheduled to graduate in May, thinks the WCRE scholarship helps her with networking by “knowing new people” and potential internship opportunities leading up to graduation.
Joining Thomas on campus to present the scholarships was Clarice McPherson, an MTSU alumna and recipient of this year’s WCRE Legacy Award. The honor is given to a WCRE member who “exemplifies the highest standards of professional, social and cultural leadership.”
McPherson, a WCRE member since 2000, has served in the commercial real estate field for a number of years and spearheaded the 24-year-old organization’s biggest group project — the renovation of a home to house the Magdalene House, a private rehabilitation center in Nashville for women.
“I was completely humbled by the award,” said McPherson. “This is an incredible group of women in the commercial real estate field. … When I started in the field many years ago, there weren’t very many women in commercial real estate. We’ve come a long way.”
For information about MTSU’s real estate program, visit http://mtsu.edu/programs/real-estate/.