Essential Information for the College Bound -- Spring 2012


One Name, Two Fates

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Taking The Next Step
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Every once in a while an opportunity presents itself that becomes memorable. I had such an opportunity recently at the Spring conference of IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) in Boston, when I was invited to introduce a Keynote Speaker, Wes Moore.

That name may not immediately resonate with you, but I hope it will soon. Wes Moore is an amazing individual who has risen out of the obstacles of the inner city through education. Today, he is a towering, compelling person -- successful in his many undertakings. He has shared his journey through a book that I urge you to read, The Other Wes Moore. His story inspires us to understand the power of an education, as well as the potential for destruction without it.

Meeting him, after reading his book, added another dimension to my appreciation of this compassionate man, committed to empowering others to make positive choices. I would like to share with you my introduction to Wes Moore, as I urge you to read his book.

Two boys named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other in troubled neighborhoods of Baltimore, both growing up without fathers. With us this morning is the one who climbed mountains -- both figuratively and literally -- to arrive at the heights of achievement as a graduate of Johns Hopkins, a Rhodes Scholar, a decorated veteran, a White House Fellow and a business leader. The other is spending every day of his life behind bars.

Wes Moore has done more than survive the potential pitfalls of his inner city background. He has built upon those pitfalls, allowing them to serve as stepping stones to achievement. On his way, he has fully ingested the world he came from and has total compassion for those who have succumbed to the tragedies of their early years.

He has kept the child within, never losing track of the difficult path he has followed, never losing sight of those he has left behind -- or the road he might have taken. "It's unsettling" he notes, "to know how little separates each of us from another life altogether."

For Wes Moore life is about the choices we all make -- some facing greater obstacles than others. He considers his book, The Other Wes Moore, as "a way of thinking about choices and accountability, not just for each of us as individuals but for all of us as a society." He is "indebted" to those who have stood by him and loved him throughout his journey of life. He acknowledges that one step can determine our destiny. "The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his."

Wes Moore's steps have enlarged his world and ours. We are fortunate to have him speak to us, today.