Christopher Gray was raised in a single-mother household in Birmingham, Alabama.

When the recession happened, he found his home was affected particularly hard.

“When I was getting ready to go to college, the recession hit. So my mom lost her job, and a lot of people in my family lost their job. Alabama was hit with a lot of poverty. Because of that, the lights were cut off and we experienced a period of homelessness,” he recalls. “And I had to find a way to go to college.” 

While he didn’t have anyone in his immediate family that went to college, Christopher was exposed to college through the high school programs he was enrolled in. And as a high achiever, he was determined to pursue higher education. “College meant to me financial security and overcoming poverty,” said Christopher. He was determined and worked hard to find scholarships that could help make his dream a reality.

Christopher began researching in his junior year of high school, recalling that he “did not have a lot of help. There was one guidance counselor for hundreds of students.” 

“I would go to the library after school. I scoured the Web. I played the numbers game, applied for hundreds of scholarships. I didn’t know what was going to happen. All I knew was that I needed to pay for college,” said Christopher.

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It wasn’t long before he started to hear back about his applications in the form of letters, calls, and emails congratulating him. Christopher recalls the moment his counselor called him to say, “You know you won a million dollars in scholarships?” 

“It’s surreal for you because suddenly something you thought was unattainable is now at your fingertips and now I could pay for college. My dream came true. I could escape poverty.”

Christopher Gray went on to attend Drexel University where he experienced a whole new world. He decided to try to scale his scholarship search efforts to help as many people as possible. And he knew technology was the way to do that. Christopher went on to develop an app that helps students around the world find scholarships to pay for college.

“College and scholarships changed my life. It gives you access to a better life, but also access to that financial opportunity to not only achieve for yourself but also help the people behind you.”

Watch Christopher’s story to learn how he won over $1 million in scholarships.

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