On Friday September 19, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences recognized outstanding alumni at the college’s annual Distinguished Alumni Reception, held in George’s restaurant on the Fairfax campus. These alumni are selected based upon professional accomplishments in their field; service and contributions to their department, college, and university; philanthropic activities; and enhancement of alumni and community engagement at Mason. Leo Pareja (’04, integrative studies) was honored as New Century College’s (NCC’s) distinguished alumnus.
Pareja immigrated to the United States from Colombia in 1994, and graduated from New Century College ten years later. He credits NCC’s experiential learning program and inquiry-based learning that kept him engaged and motivated to complete his undergraduate degree.
As a budding entrepreneur, Pareja earned his real estate license at the age of 18. An NCC internship at a real estate office helped him to earn his real estate broker license upon graduation. Today, his Keller Williams real estate team has sold more than 2900 homes totaling over half a billion dollars in residential sales. Pareja is nationally recognized as an industry expert and is often featured at industry conferences across the country.
With his professional accomplishments Pareja has earned much recognition. In 2011, Realtor Magazine named him as one of its “30 under 30” class, and his team was ranked fifth in the United States by the Wall Street Journal. In 2013, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals ranked him as the number one Latino Real Estate Agent in the United States.
Pareja shares his talents with the broader community, volunteering with Brothers, Big Sisters and Home Stretch, an organization that provides housing and other assistance to homeless families.