Scholarship Finalist: Quincy Carryl

Success through toil

Ownership of a small business is no easy feat. The very act of opening such a business is a risk that can make or break the future of a whole family. My father opened up his small business under Xerox in 1998 — 3 years after I was born — under the name Quest General Corporation (QGC) Ink and Toner. The purpose was to sell Xerox-authorized copiers, printers, toners, and ink to customers, as well as provide service for machines for up to 2 years after the initial purchase.

My father often let me work alongside him if I asked. I was allowed to seal and mail advertisements to potential customers and even learn the inner mechanisms of high-tech copiers and printers in my spare time. This is what initially kindled my love for engineering and machines, which is arguably the most important aspect of my life as I am currently a freshman in college studying computer engineering and accounting as a dual major.

Providing me with my passion in life isn’t the only thing that this small business has granted me. I learned the ups and downs of life because of the company. The ebb and flow of the economy in the U.S. took its toll on Quest General Corporation when the depression originally hit. Because of this, many customers went bankrupt and were unable to pay for tens of thousands of dollars worth of service promised to QGC. In the times of depression, my family was hit as well. I, as a teen, didn’t have much spending money for a while while the business was on the verge of collapse due to bankrupt customers and severed service plans. There was even a time when there was barely enough money to pay basic household bills. Since then, conditions have improved, but I was left with an invaluable lesson. Making a business is difficult. Business owners are susceptible to many negative influences from the economy and have nobody to fall back on and no hourly wages to collect when the going gets tough. Because of this, intelligent decisions must be made every step of the way to avoid such tragedy like the one that befell my family for a short period of time.

Even with its small beginnings, I learned the importance of work discipline from this tiny organization while growing up. Arguably the most important lesson I learned was that hard and consistent work is required to run a business. My dad stayed up countless nights, barely getting any sleep, attempting to repair malfunctioning copiers and printers, working on new advertisements, and creating new banners for the business all in order to keep our family afloat. I will forever be indebted to my parents for all of the hard work and sacrifices they made in order to raise my sister and me in a stable household. On the same token, I will forever remember the small business that taught me many invaluable lessons that I will take on and use countless times in my life in order to achieve the ultimate success.

This essay was written by Quincy Carryl, one of 10 finalists for the Small Business Success Student Scholarship Program. Quincy and the other finalists were selected from more than 500 applications reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. Three of the finalists will win a $1,500 scholarship to be used toward furthering their education. To vote for Quincy or any of the other finalists, visit the Small Business Success Student Scholarship voting app on Facebook.

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