“Money is looking for students, students are looking for money but they can’t find each other,” says Christopher Gray from Alabama. That’s what made the 28-year-old CEO start his useful enterprise.
Christopher comes from a financially-challenged background, so when it came to his enrolling into college, the guy had to jump over your own head to find the money. At college Chris learned dozens of similar stories of youngsters who could not get education because of high fees.
If you come from poor background, you have to find a way to build yourself
“You have students drowning in debt and scholarships that go unawarded. The system is broken.” Already in college Chris helped several students receive grants.
When Gray graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia, he had a bachelor’s degree and profound expertise in winning grants.
Soon after that the guy created Scholly, an app that helps students easily find scholarships for college. As of today, Scholly has helped over 2 million students win over $100 million in scholarships.
“If you come from poor background, you have to find a way to build yourself,” Gray says.
He grew up in Birmingham in a single-parent family. His mother worked two jobs to support three children. In 2008 the woman lost jobs. It was a deep poverty with no prospects to get college education for Chris.
With the tough road ahead, the boy was determined to be the first in his family to obtain a college degree. Chris has always been a hard-working pupil who read a lot.
When the guy graduated from high school, he started taking action to achieve his dream. As he had no computer and internet at home, he was spending up to 15 hours a week at public libraries searching for grants for seven months.
God gave my life a purpose and that I exist to serve and be a blessing to others!
His diligence paid its dividends. One day he got a call about his first grant for $20,000. In total, he raised over $1.3 million. “That was the moment college became a reality for me,” he recalls.
Chris majored in finance and entrepreneurship. The amount he got covered his university and living expenses for all four years.
His personal experience as well as experience of those students made it clear – thousands of students were struggling to afford college, while thousands of scholarships vanished somewhere.
That predetermined his career path, “God gave my life a purpose and that I exist to serve and be a blessing to others!”
Scholly came into being in 2015. Its main idea was to help students find necessary amount of money in scholarships to pay for higher education. What is the secret of its success?
The app is very easy to use and it has some parameters to find grants specialized for each case.
One of Chris’ university teachers Karen Starks shares her experience of observing students using Scholly:
“You should have seen their faces when they started seeing that they qualified for 20, 30, 40 scholarships. It is changing what students think that they can achieve.”
But what’s most important about it is that it has helped millions reach their seemingly unachievable dream of getting education and thus have a brighter future.
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