Ray Lord, 27, grew up in a trailer near Binghamton, N.Y., a far cry from the tony beachfront communities of the Hamptons on Long Island where he works today. He’d never even considered real estate until participating in a college externship program involving alumni from various industries. His chance interview led to a promising professional path, and he’s never looked back. Having built a successful team, Lord’s excited to be influencing the next generation of real estate pros as a mentor for interns. He’s also established a $25,000 endowment at his alma mater, the State University of New York at Geneseo, to fund the externships. “I want to teach people how to be successful,” he says, especially as “a trailblazer for other young agents from disadvantaged backgrounds.” Learn how he nabbed the Web Choice Award—with 3,144 votes—at realtorm.ag/30web17.