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Aspire Program

Students, faculty, and community members standing on the front porch of a house that houses Wa Na Wari

Launched in Summer 2021, the College of Built Environments’ Aspire Program returns this year, offering financial support, mentoring, and skill-building opportunities in academic and professional settings. Program participants will grow as leaders, expand their networks, deepen their intercultural fluency, explore their professional interests within the built environments, and find community through interactions with peers, as well as industry and academic leaders. Students from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups, and/or those with lived experiences of housing insecurity, are especially encouraged to apply.


The CBE Aspire Fellows Program introduces students to academic and professional opportunities in the built environments (BE). This year-long explorative learning program kicks off with a two-week externship experience, during which participants will connect with their cohort, learn about fields in the built environments, engage in professional development and equity, diversity & inclusion (EDI) trainings, and explore potential academic and career interests through company tours, professional panels, informational interviews, and much more. During the academic year, participants will build on the foundations established in Early Fall through paired mentorship with a BE professional, enrollment in a CBE professional development seminar, and participation in professional development and EDI workshops, as well as cohort-based social activities. Benefits of the Aspire Fellows Program include a $1500 award, membership in a cohort-based student community, participation in the two-week externship experience, priority access to professional development and networking opportunities during the academic year, and special recognition from the Dean of the College of Built Environments.

Please check back in Autumn 2022 to apply for this opportunity. Current UW freshmen, sophomores, and incoming transfer students are preferred. Students from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups and those with lived experiences of housing insecurity are especially encouraged to apply.

The Aspire Summer Intern/Extern Program focuses on housing and the role of home and homeownership in promoting a thriving community. Participating students divide their time between classroom lectures and activities with faculty, and field-based tours, mentoring, and hands-on experiences with professionals at Windermere Real Estate and other companies working in the built environments. Combined, the classroom and field-based components of the Aspire Interns/Externs Program will introduce students to a range of career opportunities, foster their leadership, technical, and financial skills, and empower them to bring a critical lens to their work, so they can make a difference while making a living after graduation.


Program Details

  • Duration:  June 28 – August 18, 2022
  • Financial Benefit:  Participants will receive a $3,000 summer stipend.


  • Must be a current UW undergraduate student or incoming transfer student
  • Students with a demonstrated academic interest in the built environments are preferred
  • Students from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups, and/or those with lived experiences of housing insecurity, are especially encouraged to apply

How to Apply

The CBE Aspire Interns/Externs application closed on April 18, 2022. For questions, contact Aspire Program Manager Alexis Wheeler ( | 206-685-9989).


Inspiring Equity in Real Estate

Hear about the experience of Aspire 2021 participants.

Learn more