“ No excuse is acceptable ; no amount of effort is adequate until proven effective ”
- Dr . Sybil C . Mobley
These were the first words Thomas G . Bolen lll heard his first day of college that he promises will carry him forever . A proud California native , Thomas moved to the Washington , DC area at the age of 11 . This proved to be a pivotal point in his life because prior to the relocation Thomas was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder / Attention Hyper Activity Disorder . He was rejected by various school systems unless put on medication . However , Thomas ’ s mother Lisa Bolen refused to put Thomas on medication and fulfilled the role of “ teacher ”, homeschooling Thomas for several years . Overcoming obstacles , Thomas received a second chance and in 2009 he graduated from TC Williams High School in Alexandria , VA with honors . Watching the struggle Thomas Bolen and later success of his father ’ s construction business inspired Thomas to continue in his father ’ s legacy . Chasing his dream to become a member in the world renowned Marching 100 , resulted in Thomas only applying to Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University ’ s School of Business and Industry ’ s 5 year MBA program .
Mrs . Kenyatta Rosier , Professor at FAMU ’ s SBI noticed Thomas ’ s talent and as a freshman requested that he fill in on a corporate forum and roundtable briefing that ’ s typically governed by graduate students and upperclassmen . This was the bridge that led Thomas to meet John Crossman President of Crossman & Company . John spoke very highly of the real estate industry and promised more corporate connections and scholarship funds if a real estate club was started . John passionately spoke about his father who was Rev . Ken Crossman , civil rights activist who has an endowed scholarship at Bethune Cookman in his memory . John interacted with over 500 + students but Thomas was the only one to follow up with John , the beginning of a great relationship .
Thomas started Club R . E . A . L ( Real Estate & Leadership Club ) and helped fund various conferences . With the help of John , Club R . E . A . L also helped raise over $ 58,000 for FAMU student scholarships . Before his graduation , Thomas saw the implementation of the real estate course in SBI and considers this the prize goal . After graduation , Thomas interned for Crossman & Company where John and Thomas realized that out of the 106 HBCU ’ s , none of them have a major , minor , or concentration in commercial real estate . In an effort to help change the world , Thomas and John set forth on a mission and developed an initiative to help increase diversity in the real estate industry by targeting real estate education at HBCU ’ s . This initiative has opened doors for Thomas and John who were recently invited to speak at the Congressional Black Caucus on this issue . Their program has received endorsements from Thomas ’ s current biggest client Jody John Crossman & Martin Luther King , III Barry ( Director of Strategic Property Development for Florida Hospital ), Congressman Alcee Hastings , Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer , Barbara Jenkins Superintendent of Orange County Schools , Lucas Boyce Trustee of FAMU and Director of Business Development & Legislative Affairs for the Orlando Magic and Dr . Joshua A . Harris , Director of Dr . Phillips Institute for Research & Education in Real Estate , just to name a few . Many HBCU ’ s have expressed interest in this effort , Bethune Cookman University have confirmed interest . Thomas and John know that they have a great task ahead of them . However , no excuses will be accepted and they continue to thank God for their work that has been effective thus far . Their mission is simple : Change the world !
To learn more about this initiative , please contact John Crossman at jcrossman @ crossmanco . com , Thomas Bolen III at tbolen @ crossmanco . com or visit their website at www . crossmanco . com .
If you are interested in donating to the FAMU Scholarship through the ICSC Foundation , you can mail checks to : ICSC Foundation , 1221 Avenue of the Americas , 41st Floor , New York , NY 10020 and reference FAMU in the memo line .
For more information regarding the School of Business and Industry Real Estate Program , please visit FAMU ’ s website , or contact Paulette McFarlane , Lic . Real Estate
Instructor paulette . mcfarlane @ famu . edu . If you are interested in donating to the Reverend Kenneth C . Crossman Endowed Scholarship at Bethune-Cookman University , you can mail donations to : Bethune-Cookman University c / o Institutional Advancement Rev . Crossman Fund , 640 Dr . Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard , Daytona Beach , FL 32114 . You can also visit the Reverend Kenneth C . Crossman Scholarship Facebook page for more information .