Winners of 2013 Scholarship Program Announced

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Five college students share nearly $10,000, creative problem-solving student from University of Miami wins top $5,000 prize

The author of this year's winning essay artfully resisted ensnarement in the reflexive response to create a ‘dream sheet’ of projects for an imaginary do it yourself renovation. today announced the winners of its 2013 scholarship program, which rewards five current college students with a total of $9,000 to put toward their higher educations.

Thousands of current college students nationwide answered the call during the 2013 Scholarship Program, submitting essays of 800 to 2,000 words that answered the following question:

“You've been tasked with analyzing two foreclosure properties to determine which one is a better investment. Many factors come into play, including cost, location, renovations (if necessary/desired) and local market conditions, among others. The goal is to maximize profit, whether it is a buy, hold or flip strategy over the short- and/or long-term. Please select a property, provide reasons that support the decision, detail your investment strategy, describe all that you would do (improvements, rehab, etc.) and how it would impact your potential bottom line."

Juan Pelaez, who attends the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., however, was voted to the head of the class by a third-party judge, winning the $5,000 top prize.

"The author of this year's winning essay artfully resisted ensnarement in the reflexive response to create a ‘dream sheet’ of projects for an imaginary do it yourself renovation," said Kate M. Myers de Vega, B.A., M.A., M.A., Asst. Professor of English and Writing, Palm Beach Atlantic University, a third-party judge who read the top submissions, assessing, grading and determining the five finalists. "The student applied keen critical thinking, creative problem solving and original analysis of local and national market trends, posited a convincing and plausible strategy for selecting the more viable income property and capitalizing on it. The strength of the research and depth of the risk mitigation argument placed this year's winning essay above the rest."

The program, which ran from Jan. 15 to Dec. 15, 2013, also awarded four $1,000 scholarships to the contest semifinalists (in alphabetical order):

  •     Sean Callero, attending Moorpark College in Moorpark, California
  •     T.Y. Dogue, attending San Diego Miramar Community College in San Diego, California
  •     Tracey Harris, attending Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  •     Steven Varkiani, attending University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

In addition to the five cash prizes in the form of scholarships, which are pending enrollment verification, these winning entries will be featured on To read Juan’s winning essay, along with the others from the four semifinalists, visit the Article Center at:

The company has already announced the 2014 Scholarship Program, which will once again run for the entire year until Dec. 15, 2014. To read the new topic, as well as learn more about the eligibility/submission requirements, visit the scholarship page ( introduced its scholarship program in 2009. Since that time, the company has awarded (or will soon award) 25 deserving college students throughout the United States with a total of $45,000 in scholarship money.

With more than 2 million preforeclosure, short sale, foreclosure, Sheriff sale, foreclosure auction, bank repossessed (bankruptcy), HUD homes, foreclosed homes for rent to own and tax lien listings in one place, delivers America’s largest and most accurate searchable database of distressed real estate and investment property information. Based in Boca Raton, Fla., works directly with hundreds of top lending institutions and government agencies to list diverse property types on its website, as well as features listings from an extensive network of corporate sellers. As a result, the company has been recognized by high profile media outlets and prestigious non-profit industry groups alike as the number one rated distressed property listing resource available anywhere. offers much more than just real estate listings, connecting sellers, buyers and agents in one convenient location as a one-stop real estate marketplace.


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