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Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:26 PM

Need help with money for college?

Meet Derrius Quarles.

Derrius Quarles is a “million dollar scholar” from the south-side of Chicago. It’s a rare juxtaposition, but simply uttering those words makes you realize that Derrius is a rare individual. Still in his early 20s, Derrius is proud to relate his “hero’s journey” (a journey he is still very much on), and hopes that his many experiences will inspire others who face their own uphill climbs.

From his bio: “As a product of the Illinois foster care system and the south side of Chicago; higher education did not seem like a feasible possibility for him. More accessible were the fleeting opportunities of the urban streets.” When Derrius was four years old, his father was murdered, and the following year he was taken away from his mother’s custody. “Traversing the foster care system for nine years, the challenges of the inner-city almost led him down a path of crime and fast money.”

Everything changed one morning in high school when a caring biology teacher said to Derrius: “You have so much potential, and yet you choose to waste it.” Those simple words were an awakening to Derrius. “Of course I can do it” he thought. And he did. In just the next few years, he was awarded more than $1,000,000 in academic scholarships – an amazing feat for any student.

Although there were many potential scholarships available when Derrius sought financial aid, there were no resources on how to apply effectively. Upon his college graduation, Derrius made it his mission to help other promising students tap the potential financial resources available for higher education. He founded Million Dollar Scholar, a social business that bridges the scholarship information gap and provides tangible resources to help students gain financial-aid to fund their dreams.


In an attempt to make college more affordable for those who need it to be, MDS offers writing tips and free writing feedback, resume help and templates, simulated interviews and more.


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