Missouri State University
Derric Durham

Derric Durham

  • Major: Management
  • Hometown: Kansas City
  • Activities: Retention and recruitment chair for Association of Black Collegians; TRIO Student Support Services
  • Activities: Residence Hall Association’s Apartment Community Council

Driven to make a difference for low-income families

Derric Durham has big plans for the future — plans he was able to share with “Shark Tank” contestant Chris Gray.

Gray is the co-founder and CEO of Scholly, an app that links students with college scholarships. He was brought to MSU as a keynote speaker.

“I want to own my own business — a multicultural resource center,” Durham said. “With my revenue, I want to provide scholarships for low-income families and create a mentoring system for high school students.

"I eventually want to travel the world and be a motivational speaker. Those are my hopes and dreams.”

Gray gave Durham his personal business card after hearing about the aspiring entrepreneur’s plans. This is just one of the many exciting opportunities Durham has been part of since attending Missouri State.

Reaching out to others

Derric Durham

“Ethical leadership to me just means doing the right things even while nobody is looking."

Durham helps recruit students for the Association of Black Collegians, a student organization devoted to academic excellence, community engagement, unity, diversity and the retention of multicultural students.

“We have events like potlucks to make everyone feel at home.”

Through the association, Durham has volunteered for community groups such as Deliverance Temple Ministries. This racially diverse Christian church runs a program that offers activities for local children.

“We read books, play games, watch movies and eat pizza,” Durham said. “It’s really fun — and not just for the kids!”

He also works with the Residence Hall Association, making sure Missouri State students who live in nontraditional on-campus apartments still feel connected to MSU.

Finding meaning in the mission

As a future business leader, Durham has found inspiration in the public affairs mission of Missouri State. 

"(Ethical leadership) is about making a habit of doing the right thing, standing up for what’s right, reaching out to the community and just basically being a person who has a lot of integrity.”