We’re proud to award this year’s OpenWater Scholarship – a $1,500 grant that aims to help one student advance their studies – to Julian Mathews, a High School Senior from San Antonio, Texas! We had a quick chat with him to learn more about his story and what he plans to do with the Grant.
A: What made you apply to the OpenWater Scholarship?
J: Searching for various scholarship opportunities that were open to me I found OpenWater’s Annual Scholarship that seeks to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship. I’ve had my own car detailing business that I started on my own and I’ve always known that I had a business interest – ever since I was a little kid. It just seemed like the perfect fit.
A: It’s clear that entrepreneurship means a lot to you. What drove you to start your own business in High School?
J: Growing up in San Antonio, I worked on a farm since I was 13 or 14, meaning that I was always working with my hands. But I’ve always had a thing for cars too. I merged my work ethic and love for cars by starting an auto-detailing business in High School. Two and a half months after I started it, it was growing so much and so quickly that I couldn’t fit everything I needed into my little Honda Civic anymore. I went and bought a truck, and started working out of there. I mean, I was a student when I started this. I was working 50-60 hour weeks (it takes an average of 2 and a ½ hours to properly detail one vehicle) on top of a full course load. Entrepreneurship shows me that with the right work ethic, anything is possible.
A: Aside from work ethic, what else do you think is an important quality in an Entrepreneur?
J: I believe that entrepreneurship should also come with a strong sense of service. After starting this auto-detailing business of mine, I found myself wanting to give back to the community more and more. One way that I could really give back was to donate my time and supplies to local car wash fundraisers, who in turn really appreciated my help. It really made me realize that a strong sense of commitment to the community is important as an entrepreneur.
A: Whereabouts from here for you?
J: I’ve always loved Math because it’s clear and to the point, but have also had a passion for Engineering since I was little. However, owning my own business has made me want to delve into that world a little deeper, so I’m planning to seek a double major in Entrepreneurship and Finance to better develop my business acumen. I’ve been accepted to Baylor University, Texas Christian, and Texas A&M so far, but Baylor is my top choice given that it was one of the first universities in the country to introduce a program in Entrepreneurship.
Stemming from our roots as a bootstrapped company, we celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship at OpenWater. Congratulations Julian, and we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!
OpenWater, a software company based in Arlington, VA, provides an all-in-one application and review cloud software platform that automates and helps to grow your organizations awards, grants, scholarships, fellowships, abstracts and more. OpenWater’s Scholarship Management Software and Grant Management Software is trusted by top organizations.