Born and bred on the south-side of Chicago, overcoming obstacles was a skill that groomed Derrius as a youth. Being the first in his family to attend college has provided him motivation academically and professionally. Among his honors, include a multitude of scholarships and grants totaling over $1.1 million dollars. He is a humble recipient of the Gates Millennium, Horatio Alger, Coca-Cola, Dell, Chicago Scholars, Nordstrom, Elks, and Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships. Beyond academics he is the founder of Million Dollar Scholar, a for-profit social venture that has assisted high school and college students in gaining over $1,300,000 in scholarships and grants for their education and to reduce debt. In addition he is the author of Million Dollar Scholar: Winning The Scholarship Race, and has had the honor to deliver messages of inspiration to various institutions and organizations both nationally and abroad.