What Is Million Dollar Scholar?
Million Dollar Scholar is a social business that provides products and services to help students win scholarships for their college education and uses the profits as a medium to provide scholarships.
Why Million Dollar Scholar?
There are a plethora of sites that are geared toward helping students search for scholarships and some of these sites are extremely legitimate, however, there are very few services dedicated to helping students with the process that starts after they identify scholarships they qualify for. Million Dollar Scholar fills this gap by focusing on the difficult process that begins after a student identifies scholarships.
Million Dollar Scholar is the vision of founder, Derrius Quarles, who as a high school student on the Southside of Chicago was limited to outside sources for funding his higher education. Before graduating, he won over one million dollars in scholarships and financial-aid and as a college student crafted a reproducible methodology for winning scholarships for both high school and college students. Million Dollar Scholar is rooted in the commitment to help as many students as possible who face financial barriers fund their college education.
More information about Million Dollar Scholar can be found at www.milliondollarscholar.com
Connect with Million Dollar Scholar on Facebook: /milliondollarscholar and Twitter: @mdollarscholar
S.B. Who are some of the individuals that have changed your life drastically?
D.Q. I would have to first discuss one of my Biology teachers Mrs. Nuttakki whom challenged my potential academically. She really set off a spark that ignited all of these of areas of my life just by being a great teacher and role model. She intervened in my life at a time when I was mentally unstable. Another very important person was my mentor Desmond Kemp and he touched on all of the areas that Mrs. Nuttakki could not intervene with as a teacher. He gave me the wisdom and the knowledge that I needed to do better as a person.
S.B. What is something that you’ve accomplished that you can say that still makes you proud to this day?
D.Q. Winning a million dollars in scholarships, I remembered writing it down as a goal and working really hard to achieve it. By achieving it, it validated me in a way that I had never been before. I come from a family and social background where there wasn’t much validation as a person. There weren’t too many people in my life telling me that I was the best and that I could achieve anything. Winning a million dollars in scholarships let me know that I am great and I can do anything. I know now that you can achieve anything in life that you want to. Everything that I’ve done has had that same effort no matter who is in the crowd or who I’m up against.
S.B. Describe your lowest point in life and how you managed to escape it?
D.Q. My freshman year of high school I was too young to get a job. At the time I was living with my grandmother through foster care and the money she received for me wasn’t much. So I made up mind that I had to find a way to get money. Every morning before school I would steal candy and sell it at the school. One day I got caught and was sent to jail,which was a really low point and caused me to miss a whole day of school. My grandmother had to pick me up from jail at the age of 14 and I could feel the weight of her disappointment. Many of her sons and daughters had once been in jail. While I was in jail I thought about the life I wanted for myself. From that point forward I faced everything in life differently. I told myself from that point forward I would have to think everything that I do before I do it and calculate the possible consequences.
S.B. How has all of your success altered relationships with your peers?
D.Q. I think that’s a great question. It’s been pros and cons to it. I’ll start with the pros. It altered my relationships because you feed off the people around you. The people that I am around a lot they see me and feed off of my positive energy. I try to bring inspiration, wisdom, happiness and positivity. Bringing positivity creates more positivity and does not breed failure. The cons are some people associate my success with arrogance. People think I think highly of myself when its just confidence. Another con is often people do not know how to take criticism. People put criticism in a harsh place and its really to help you. To end it off with a pro, to see someone the same age as you that you are is motivation. I love to be around good, motivated and ambitious folks because they motivate and I try to be the same thing. If I achieve then it motivates others to achieve.
S.B. According to your Facebook, you name is “Dr. Derrius Quarles” some people may think you are ahead of yourself but what is your standpoint?
D.Q. The day I created my facebook page, I put that name on there. The reason I put that on there is because it is a constant reminder of what I’m moving towards. Every time I check my Facebook and every time I look at it I know that there is a doctor in from of my name for a reason. Once I become a doctor I will take it down because then I wont have to announce that I am a doctor. Right now I’m on my way to medical school and I am not a doctor. It is not being ahead of myself, its me being what I want for the future.
S.B. Besides being a doctor what are some of your other lifetime goals or dreams?
D.Q. Once I become a doctor I really want to find a way to serve my peers back home in Chicago. By affecting policy and being an informed voice that brings facts and intelligence to conversations about healthcare in under privledged populations. I want to use my credentials as a link and advance the lives of people that really do not have a voice. Secondly, I really want to be a family man because I’ve experienced the affects of being parentless. Family is a very important thing. I know it may sound cliché, but family is all you have and for those that have it don’t understand why people say it so much. You really don’t understand what family means until you don’t have it anymore. I really want to have a beautiful family and use that as a way to be a role model for other families and males. On a real level I want the life I’m living to be an example and testiment to other people and display why family is important. I definitely would like to also become a philanthropist and contribute to the issue of the rising cost of college and graduate school.
S.B. Name a person, place, and thing that brings joy to your heart no matter the circumstances?
D.Q. A thing that brings me joy no matter what is a full moon and I don’t know why. I think the moon reminds me that I’m not here by coinscidence and it’s beautiful. A place that brings me joy no matter what is Chicago, IL and preverably the downtown area. A person brings me joy no matter what is my grandmother.
S.B. If I told you that there was a airplane waiting outside to take you anywhere you would like, where would you go?
D.Q. I would go to Austrailia because its just one of those places I dreamed of going as a kid. Austrailia is a place that is furthest away from everything. Not to mention Austrailia is beautiful. Mainly, Sydney is where I would need to be no pun intended (laughs).
S.B. So, you won a million dollars on scholarships. There is no way that you spent all of that money on your education. What exactly did you spend the money on besides education?
D.Q. I’ve been able travel a lot. I’ve been to four continents and I only have two continents left before I’ve caught a glimpse of the globe. I’ve been able to start up a company to fund student’s education. One of the interesting part about financial aid is that even though its so expensive you would think if you put in the energy and time to get more money then it will come back to you but that’s not the case. There are federal caps on how much money you can get back but no caps on how much a school can charge you. It’s not like a system that I’m rolling in dough but I wish. My perspective is schools can charge almost 50,000 dollars a year but if I get the money plus more I should be able to keep that money but of course the government does not agree.
S.B. Any last words?
D.Q. I will leave you with an anonymous quote which is “everyone in the world will move out of the way for a person that knows where they’re going.” If there is one quote I know by heart, its that one and its one that I will never forget.