PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In recognition of Black History Month, we are honoring Gamechangers who are making a positive impact on communities of color in our area. A South Jersey Gen-Z-er, who found early business success, is paying it forward.
Quandell Iglesia runs three successful businesses and he’s just 20 years old.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Gun Violence Epidemic Continues To Have Devastating Impact On City's Youth
“I surround myself with people who are successful from my local community and learn from them,” he said.
But his journey to serial entrepreneur was no crystal stair.
“I struggled academically, like I barely graduated high school,” he said.
As a student at Williamstown High School, he was often bored in the classroom but very effective at fundraising. He used the connections to start his first business, Photobliss, LLC, taking photos of the who’s who of South Jersey.
“It was just with no experience at all and I just went with it,” Iglesia said.
Then instead of going to college, he went to work for himself and found a consulting company.
When he landed a webchat with the CEO of Chic-Fil-A, business picked up.
“A lot of young people were reaching out to me about the consulting. They are like, ‘Quandell, how are you navigating in certain spaces?’” he said.
To share what he learned, Iglesia founded SNJ Millennials to help young entrepreneurs.READ MORE: Here Is Where The Pennsylvania Primary Race For The Senate Seat Stands
“We provide revolutionary workshops and networking mixers and business educational resources for business professionals and then we have the mission of bringing generations together,” he said.
The nonprofit’s reach spans seven counties, thanks to his 30 under 30 gala, health and wellness fair and more.
“It’s truly just through supporting other people and loving on other people,” said Iglesia.
The exposure has brought accolades from all over but his favorite came from his alma mater, his only recognition from his high school.
“It was humbling and you realize you were put on the earth for a purpose,” he said.
It doesn’t hurt that he makes a good living.
“I actually purchased my first home when I graduated high school,” said Iglesia.
“What was the biggest lesson you think you learned from a kid until now?” Cherri Gregg asked.
“Learn how to love you and sky’s the limit,” Iglesia said.MORE NEWS: Phillies Superstar Bryce Harper Named National League Player Of The Week After Scorching West Coast Pitching
That is the lesson he shares as he charts his own path, changing the game by paying it forward.