About The Founder : Montra Mckenzie
While awaiting trial for one year, I was out of work, and a year later I went to trial and was found guilty, and soon after had to surrender to federal prison. I went from closing on “big houses” to living in the ultimate “big house”, involuntarily. After serving 15 months in prison, 6 months in a federal halfway house, and 3 months with a leg monitor and 3 additional years on federal supervision, it taught me to appreciate life and being able to move around when you want. Nothing in this world is worth having your freedom taken away from you.
It takes a lot of strength and self-encouragement to be able to get out of federal prison and stay focused when you are forced to rebuild your life from ground zero. It was a huge blessing that I could lean on family & friends for support when I was released. The knowledge and experience that I had gained during my years working in the real-estate industry allowed me to pick up where I left off and I began educating and doing consulting work with investors.
God has given me a second chance, which inspired me to launch a leadership school, “The Investors Academy”, which is a second chance re-entry program with a premise of reintegrating former juveniles into the community, reducing prison recidivism (the tendency of a convicted criminal to re-offend) and improving public safety. This is achieved by providing support and connections to much-needed services in the community after prisoners have been released, and providing programs inside the prison prior to their release date.
We provide support, guidance, and mentoring for wayward and misguided youth and their family unit, as well as other youth that have been identified by community resources, organizations or groups providing information to our youth program, thereby leading us to believe that the said youth identified has demonstrated a need for assistance in the areas of academics, athletics, or social adaptive skills and developmental concerns.
The primary goals and objectives of this youth outreach and advocacy program are to promote exceptional adaptive skills to each program participant, which would facilitate their success of becoming valued members of the community and society as a whole.
After experiencing the challenges of getting back into the work field I decided to continue my education by going back to school at Atlanta Area Technical College completing the Construction Management And Carpentry Program.
During the course of attending the Carpentry program, I received my 10-hour Construction Safety and Health Certification from OSHA and also completed the Green Professional Building Skills training and received by certification by the Urban Green Council. Achieving these goals has motivated to educate and train the youth in construction trades.
As far as I could remember, I could always visualize myself being a successful real-estate mogul and entrepreneur. At the age of 19, I purchased my first home, which sparked the burning desire to explore the world of real-estate. Being a natural “go-getter”, I was able to work my way up in the ever-changing mortgage industry by becoming a mortgage broker in my mid-twenties.
Throughout my tenure as a mortgage broker, I continued to invest in the real estate market through buying, renovating, and selling homes to investors within 60 days of acquiring the property. This quickly earned me the nickname as the “Quick-Flip Queen of the South”.
My investor-based clientele at the time had expanded (so rapidly) which motivated me to start brokering loans fulltime. I was very successful in the mortgage industry and I enjoyed being able to help people fulfill their dreams of homeownership, and becoming more financially independent through real-estate.
Of course, nothing good lasts forever. So, in 2008 when our country was impacted by the financial crisis, it had a rippled effect on the funding of loans and a lot of our major banks were starting to close their doors. Shortly after this, I was indicted by the FBI for conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud. I was immediately restricted from working in the mortgage industry, and life as I once knew it…was over. The catalyst which caused me to get indicted was surrounding myself with the wrong type of people. I was young and naive and I allowed someone to cloud my judgment, which I, in turn, made some foolish decisions, based on greed.