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“My mom was elated. I did a little jumping around,” Gray said.
Gray, an entrepreneurship major at Drexel, has used the money for tuition, room and board, supplies at the Apple store, travel for interviews, clothing and other needs.
He has appeared at national conferences and in the media, including U.S. News & World Report. As a result, hundreds of students and parents have e-mailed and called for advice. Working with Mayor Michael Nutter’s office on education, he has also advised students at Philadelphia public high schools.
“That’s what inspired me to make the app,” he said. “It was taking hours of my day trying to help. It just became too much.”
High school, college students can use app
Gray has uploaded 500 scholarships on the app and continues to add more.
They are sorted by eight criteria: state, race, GPA, gender, need/merit, grade (high school or college), major and miscellaneous. Students can find suitable scholarships and create a spreadsheet.
Gray also has uploaded several of his winning scholarship essays.
The app is geared to high school and college students, who can qualify even though they are already in school, Gray said.
Now that he has graduated, Pirollo will continue working with Gray in addition to taking a job with Vistaprint, a business card company.
Gray, who has two years left at Drexel, wants to make it easier for his siblings than it was for him.
“I’m trying to save up to put them in a better environment,” he said, aiming to get them into a private school by fifth grade.
As for his career plans, he has the goal of a true entrepreneur: “Ideally, not to have to get a job when I graduate.”