Real estate powerhouse Ryan Serhant owes a lot to New York City.
"This city has given me everything I have — a career, the most amazing family and the ability to follow whatever dream I have every single day," says the 35-year-old "Million Dollar Listing" star, who moved to NYC in 2006 to pursue acting with just a small amount of savings.
His success didn't happen overnight: After two years of struggling to make a living from acting gigs, he pivoted and decided to get his real estate license. He made just $9,000 his first year as a real estate agent, but he hustled to gain a foothold in the industry. Today, Serhant is one of the most successful brokers in the world.
"Everything I have, over the last 10 years that I've built up — I really owe it to New York City," he says in a vlog posted to his YouTube channel. And, in 2020, Serhant wants to help someone else realize their dream by giving them a "free year" in the city.
Serhant plans to pay for one person's rent for 12 months, plus provide a generous stipend: "They'll have spending cash, they will have everything they need to not have any financial stress for 12 months," he tells YouTube star Casey Neistat, who he's teamed up with to promote the contest.
Applications are due Wednesday, January 8, 2020, and the winner will be announced later in the month. Here are the stipulations:
- You have to be 21.
- You have to have "massive dreams," says Serhant, and a passion for wanting to be in NYC. Your dream could be "literally anything," he adds. "You could want to be a scientist or an actor or a content creator."
- You have to be able to explain why you deserve this opportunity.
"It's an application-based competition where someone will be hand picked by our team," Serhant explains on the contest site, adding: "This is your chance to go all-in on yourself and focus solely on making it happen without any personal financial constraints."
Serhant understands first-hand how difficult it can be to try to build a career in such an expensive city. "It's hard to come here," he says in his vlog, "especially when you're young, if you can't afford it." But he also believes that he wouldn't have been able to achieve his goals anywhere else in the world: "Yes, I work my ass off, but the city has helped — and now I want New York City to help somebody else."
Find out more information about how to apply here.
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