-- In the business world, Chieh Huang is the ultimate success story.
The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Huang is the CEO of Boxed, a fast-growing New Jersey-based Internet wholesaler that he started just two years ago in his garage.
What’s remarkable about Huang isn’t just his company’s rapid expansion.
Huang, 33, recently made the decision to pay for the college educations of his employees’ children with his own money.
In an interview with ABC News, Huang said he wanted to “pay it forward.
“I can’t do what I do ... without people putting in a lot of back-breaking and hard work,” he said. “And so it’s just my way of thanking them.”
Huang grew up poor, and he believes the driving factor behind his current success is a good education. He wants to his employees to be able to give their children the same opportunity he had.
“I want to help these folks, you know, because they're starting on this journey with us,” he said.
Huang's company employees more than 100 people, and 12 children are currently eligible for the tuition program.
Mark Bobko is among those who will benefit from the new program. The son of Boxed employee Joe Bobko, the 18-year-old will begin studying at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, in the fall. Under the terms of Huang’s program, all four years of his undergraduate tuition will be paid – a value of more than $100,000.
“I feel extremely lucky,” Mark Bobko said. “ I wouldn't have never thought in a million years that this would happen to me … I really appreciate what Chieh's doing for my life.”
Mark Bobko said Huang was “definitely a hero,” adding that his actions put a smile on others’ faces.
“It'll definitely allow me to want to help other people and follow in Chieh's footsteps,” he said.
Huang insists he’s no hero.
“I am the completely opposite of a hero … What I'm doing is the right thing,” he said.
Joe Bobko said Huang’s generosity “ultimately lessens the burden. Whether that was loans or dipping into savings, it’s a help ... it makes a difference."