He Won the Scholarship Game; His Business Helps Others Do The Same

He Won the Scholarship Game; His Business Helps Others Do The Same

Derrius Quarles, a native of Chicago’s South Side who said a ninth-grade teacher nudged him onto the path for success, was looking three years ago to give a little something back to the kids at Kenwood Academy in Hyde Park, his alma mater. He wound up starting a business. And he’s off to a good start.

Quarles, 23, a graduate of Morehouse College, is fresh off a regional victory in the Miller Lite “Tap the Future” business pitch contest, setting him up for the finals later this year and a chance to win $200,000 for his business.

His company is Million Dollar Scholar, an online platform to help students secure financial aid for college, which Quarles knows something about. When he graduated high school in 2009, the website FinAid listed him among about a dozen students nationwide offered more than $1 million in financial aid, including full scholarship offers, to five universities.

Quarles started his company while still at Morehouse College. He did so after a 2011 visit to Chicago to offer advice to students about financial aid.

“It started out as a small idea to see how could I go back to my old high school and give out all the good information that I had learned,” Quarles said. “This wasn’t standard knowledge that was being taught in the schools, or that students could easily find on their own.”

Continue reading featured story at Chicago Tribune here.


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