(WTVM) - One of the most inspiring stories this graduation season centered around a young man who rose from poverty to play Division 1 College football, get his college degree, then a Rhodes Scholarship and is now an author - all this, at age 25.
His name is Caylin Moore. He was recently featured on Good Morning America and his life story sounds like it could be a movie script.
Caylin Moore grew up in Compton, California, surrounded by gangs, drugs and other dangers that claim too many young black male lives.
He knows he could have easily been another statistic.
His father committed murder and is serving a life sentence. There were days when his abused and single Mom couldn’t afford to feed him.
Caylin Moore knew there had to be a way to escape the dead-end stereotypes of his low-income neighborhood.
He knew he had to push himself. He didn’t make excuses. He found good mentors. And he was smart enough to make the most of the help he received.
After college, he became one of only 32 Americans to receive a Rhodes Scholarship in 2017.
He just graduated with a master’s degree in Public Policy from Oxford University in England.
Fellow Rhodes Scholars include former President Bill Clinton, current Senator Cory Booker, and Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Caylin Moore knows he’s special, but he doesn’t want to be special. He believes no matter how dire your situation may be, there are ways to succeed.
Listen to teachers and coaches. Don’t expect gifts or special treatment, but accept help when you get it.
Most importantly, Caylin Moore decided to stay focused on his goals, building on each small achievement.
Caylin acknowledges he’s the first Rhodes Scholar to come out of Compton, but he knows he won’t be the last.
His first book, called “A Dream Too Big: The Story of an Improbable Journey from Compton to Oxford,” tells his story in detail.
One of Caylin Moore’s quotes offers great advice. He says, “Be unrealistic in your expectations of yourself.”
That’s what Caylin Moore did. Now he wants to inspire many others make it, too, just like he did.
Having high expectations of yourself is always the first step.
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