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28 Year-Old Author and Entrepreneur Tells SHS Students To Seize the Moment

Derrius Quarles

A Million Dollar Message

Derrius Qualres grew up on the southside of Chicago in, what he calls, the poorest of places. By the age of 5 he was forced into the world of foster care due to the murder of his father and a mother who was addicted to drugs. By the time he was in high school, Quarles said he realized he alone had the power to impact the direction of his life. With resolute determination to make it college, Quarles set out to secure $1 million in scholarships. "Not only did I reach that crazy goal," said Quarles, "I actually raised $1.1M. I traveled to 21 countries during my time at Morehouse and later went on to get my masters at the University of Pennsylvannia." In Saprtanburg on Friday, November 16, the author of the new book called, Million Dollar Scholar, encouraged students to take advantage of the resources they have in high school and to seize every possible moment in making the most out of their lives. 

As part of the District's annual 7Reads literacy initaitive, Quarles spoke to more than 500 students during his visit. Now living in Atlanta and the owner of a number of new business ventures, Quarles told his teenage audience that more often than not the barriers they face are self-imposed. As for the toughest parts of his journey, in hindsight he says, he's stronger for what he's overcome and incredibly grateful for the many blessing he has to count. Check out the video on the homepage of the website that sums up the message Quarles says he came to share with the students at SHS.