Head Start for Young Pros

Russian émigré sets out to change lives.

Commercial real estate is a difficult field to break into. That’s why one North Carolina broker is offering a helping hand to young people in his state.

Nikita Zhitov (pictured left), co-founder of CityPlat in Raleigh, N.C., recently announced the launch of a foundation to help high school and college students get on the path to commercial real estate success.

The Nikita Zhitov Foundation for Real Estate Education, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, will award a college scholarship each year to an in-state student studying real estate. In addition, the foundation will subsidize real estate training and licensing for North Carolina high school students.

Zhitov emigrated from Russia with his parents when he was 14. He was introduced to real estate through an independent study program at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and transacted his first deal when he was 18. “Growing up in Siberia, we didn’t have the option to study whatever we wanted,” Zhitov says. “I was given that opportunity here in America, and I want to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about an industry and a career that can be life-changing.”

Zhitov has pledged $1 million to the foundation but said that amount may change based on the level of interest and number of applications.


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