Westmont Magazine Earning an Education
Determined to finance his college education, Daniel Zia ’06 started his own business while he was still a high school student in Brookings, Ore. “I didn’t want to be a financial burden on my parents,” he explains.
His company, Fusion Imports, has succeeded beyond his expectations. Not only has it been profitable, but the enterprise helped him win the 2002 Future Entrepreneur of the Year award from the National Association for the Self-Employed. The prize, which includes a $24,000 scholarship, is given every year to a young micro-business owner who demonstrates the drive and ambition of a successful business owner.
Fusion Imports whole-sales and retails after-market parts for cars, such as fiberglass body kits, hoods, fenders and performance parts. With associates in Canada, Japan and Germany, the business has an international scope.
During the fall, he went to Westmont full time and worked 40-50 hours, running his business by phone. In the spring he limited himself to 20 hours of work per week to allow more time for school.
“Business is in my blood, and it comes easily to me,” he says. “I enjoy it because I feel like I am helping people. I also feel more independent, useful and fulfilled when I support myself. I find that I appreciate things more, too, if I have to work for them.”
Daniel decided to attend college because he knew there would be plenty of time to pursue his business endeavors later. “Westmont is helping me become a well-rounded servant of God,” he says.
He also wants time to enjoy his youth, go hiking with friends and build life-long relationships with other Christians. After two years of operating a business, he knows that it could take up all his time if he let it.
Although his leisure time is limited, Daniel started an e-mail ministry he calls Verse o’ da Day. He sends a daily Bible verse to about 250-300 people, most of whom are Westmont students.
“This ministry has evolved, and instead of just typing a verse, I am writing out an interpretation and providing context and background for a specific chapter,” he says. “It has become more like a Bible study.
“Taking time out of my day to get deep into the Word and study it, not just read it, has been a great experience,” he adds.
The e-mail outreach gives Daniel an opportunity to write, which he relishes. One of his ambitions is to become a published author, and before he started Fusion Imports, he was writing a novel.
Meanwhile, he is working hard so he can return for his second year at Westmont and continue his education.
Evie Calhoun ’03 contributed to this article