A Valley doctoral student and author who found fame thanks to reality star Kim Kardashian-West is using his rising stardom to lift up underprivileged kids.
Corderro Allantae McMurry's ability to stand out has always led him to life-changing moments. Growing up in a modest home in Maryvale, while attending St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, a field trip to the exclusive Phoenix boy's school Brophy Preparatory led him to a scholarship for high school.
"He just said, 'I remembered you. You were the kid who had a notebook and a pen and you were just taking notes,'" McMurry said of the man who led the school tour.
He would go on to earn a full-ride scholarship to the University of Arizona where he earned his Bachelors degree, followed by Northern Arizona University for graduate school and now Arizona State University for his doctorate.
"I was just blessed to have a lot of the things that i had. My mom made a lot of sacrifices. I had a lot of great people around me to help support me," said McMurry.
It was his thesis at NAU that would lead to another defining moment: McMurry analyzed the simultaneous coverage of a 2016 presidential debate between then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and news of Kim Kardashian-West's hotel room robbery, questioning if celebrity stories are worthy of headline news.
When he finished the paper, he tweeted at the starlet and she responded writing, "Congrats, can I get a copy?"
Her legion of social media followers quickly started retweeting McMurry and within 24 hours, he was trending in six different countries. Seizing his 15 minutes of fame, McMurry turned his thesis into a book, aptly titled 'Can I Get A Copy?'
Now, in a full-circle moment, he's planning to use his future success to help kids who started off just like he did by using the book-signing proceeds to start a foundation at Saint Vincent de Paul.
"Knowing that those kids, those families, may not have money to get uniforms for the start of the new semester or they may not have food," McMurry said. "All I really want is to tell kids whatever it is that you have, if you have that passion, to protect it and pursue it because that right there is what's gonna make you happy and successful."
McMurry's book signing event and fundraiser is Saturday, Feb. 22nd at 12 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at Chandler Fashion Center.