AT AGE 5 I ENTERED FOSTER-CARE.
BY AGE 16 I WAS LIVING ON MY OWN IN CHICAGO.
AT AGE 18 I SECURED $1 MILLION DOLLARS IN SCHOLARSHIPS.
BY AGE 21 I FOUNDED MY FIRST BUSINESS.
BY AGE 27 I HAD CHANGED THE (MY) WORLD.
Born and bred on the South Side of Chicago, I marched through 13 years of foster care after losing my father to violence and being separated from my mother to become a first-generation college and Ivy League graduate. Experiencing poverty first-hand provided all the motivation I needed to hustle – turns out selling snacks at Kenwood Academy High School freshman year would spark my passion for building businesses. Since then I have leveraged technology to grow multiple companies that are currently improving the lives of various marginalized groups . My first book, Million Dollar Scholar: Winning The Scholarship Race has assisted thousands of students across the globe increase their knowledge of how to make higher education more affordable through scholarships and grants and my business ventures have collectively impacted the lives of over 15,000 marginalized youth in America.
As the Co-Founder and CEO of the financial services company BREAUX Capital, I assist the 70% of Black millennials who would not be able to afford a $1,000 financial emergency enhance their financial health through a powerful combination of software that automates savings behavior and education through a peer community. As the Founder and CEO of Million Dollar Scholar, an education technology social enterprise, I help low-income high school students acquire scholarships to pursue higher education. As the Founder and Brand Architect at DQ and Partners, a web design agency, I partner with emerging business and influencer brands that are improving communities in the fields of education, technology, health, art, and equity.
A driving force behind my inspiration is a humbling honor I received from Harry Belafonte at the 2012 Common Ground Gala hosted by musician and actor, Common. Mr. Belafonte said to the audience that “Derrius is the dream Dr. King and I, as well as so many others, fought for...”. Since that evening, I have decided to carry the metaphoric torch that he handed to me.
In 2015, I was honored by Barack Obama at the White House for his activism in expanding educational access and named to Black Enterprise's 100 Modern Men in 2017. Beyond these awards, my work has been highlighted by Time Magazine, The New York Times, Associated Press, CNN, HuffPost, MTV, and BET amongst others. Most recently, I was an Entrepreneur in Residence at TED where I delivered a dope TED Talk discussing the role large banks have played in economically marginalizing Black Americans and the innovation BREAUX Capital represents in the marketplace for Black millennials.
A MILLION DOLLAR SCHOLAR AND A DREAM