April 13, 2017
By Kimberlee Buck
Homeless, abused, athlete, scholar, educated, family-oriented and God-fearing are a few words that describe the life of college student Caylin Moore. How does one go from sleeping on the floor in the garage to becoming a Rhode’s scholar? In the words of Moore, “it won’t make sense on paper.”
Moore was raised in Carson, California. He spent majority of his childhood participating in activities like youth football and church. Although Moore grew up around poverty and crime, he was surrounded by the love of his mother which fueled his desire to live a different lifestyle.
“I am thankful for having my mom in my life and I am thankful for how me, my sister, and my younger brother turned out despite the circumstances,” said Moore.
For high school, Moore attended Verbum Dei High School, what he calls “a diamond in the rough.” After graduating from the college prep school, he attended Marist College in New York and began his journey to becoming a Rhode’s scholar.
Moore recalls the first time he learned about the Rhodes scholarship.
“I heard about this guy that played football at Florida State. He was a Black dude, tall and swaggy individual. I was like, ‘oh snap this dude got swag, he is a football player, and he is smart too!’ It seemed appealing, this dude was doing it all,” said Moore.
During his first semester at Marist College, Moore academically excelled receiving a 3.8. Soon, he found his way over to the scholarship office and began exploring opportunities like the Fulbright Summer Institute Scholarship which allowed Moore to study abroad at the University of Bristol in England and complete a fellowship at Princeton University.
After completing his studies abroad he came back to the United States where he attended Texas Christian University (TCU) and began seeking similar scholarship opportunities. After a reminder text message from his mother to look into the Rhodes scholarship, Moore applied and was successful.
The Rhode’s scholarship is known as one of the most prestigious academic awards received by former presidents, prime ministers, and other world leaders and influential people. Each year, 32 students from the United States are selected as Rhode’s scholars. According to the scholarship, the students are chosen based off their academic achievements, leadership, character and commitment to others and the common good.
“It’s typical not something that an inner city Black kid who plays football would win but by the grace of God I did,” said Moore.
“God is God. God is real. I just have to patient, be still, be humble and just continue to follow the path I see Him leading me on and just do His work.”
Today, Moore continues to study at TCU. He is majoring in economics and is minoring in mathematics and sociology. Moore’s expected graduation date is May 2017.
“When you are succeeding at a high level but you come from circumstances that don’t necessarily align with the elite spaces you find yourself in, you look at where you are from and where you are now and it won’t make sense on paper,” said Moore. “My goal is to not make sense on paper. My goal is for other people to seek that as well. That means they will be exceeding their expectations.”
Currently, Moore is working on a book called, “It Won’t Make Sense on Paper.” The release date of the book is to be determined.
“It details some of my roles from sleeping on the floor in the garage in the hood to eventually becoming a Rhode’s Scholar and a division I football player and beyond that as well,” said Moore.
Life after college for Moore will consist of him continuing to follow God’s path for his life.
“I let God do the goals and the dreams for me. But I am going to Oxford to get my masters in sociology and public policy. I want to go to Harvard to get my PhD,” said Moore.
Moore encourages young Black men who are in South Los Angeles to, “dream bigger than their environment.”
“There are some people who have never been on the other side of the 110 freeway or haven’t been passed the 91 freeway. The biggest people I would encourage are the parents. A lot of times, we kind of talk about this generation this, and this generation is doing that and that is wrong. But somebody is raising them,” said Moore.
“I want to encourage parents to be present, continually persist in making sure that our young Black men and women are pursuing education.”
“As Black people, we spend some money on some Jordans, but we won’t spend any money on a SAT course or to better ourselves for our future,” said Moore.
He goes on to discuss the different type of scholarships that are available for Black people.
“There are so many opportunities for people to make it out. I’m not just talking about dribbling a ball or catching a ball, I’m talking about pure academics. But, you have to be exposed to these opportunities to take advantage of them,” said Moore.