Author Wes Moore to Speak at American International College

Moore, an Army combat veteran and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network, will discuss leadership during his appearance at AIC.

Springfield, MA, March 31, 2014 --( Nationally-known author, youth advocate and social entrepreneur Wes Moore will be in Springfield to speak to students at American International College (AIC), Wednesday, April 2. Moore, an Army combat veteran and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network, will discuss leadership during his appearance at AIC.

The event, sponsored by the AIC Center for Academic Success, the ACE Program, and Office of Student Engagement and Leadership Development, will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the Griswold Theatre.

His first book, "The Other Wes Moore," became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. "The Other Wes Moore," tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a challenging and at times, hostile world. The book is the story of two boys with the same name, living in the same city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder.

"One of the reasons I wrote the book was to highlight the critical work service organizations around the country are doing on behalf of families, single parents, kids and veterans," Moore said. "I want to applaud their commitment and the services they provide, draw people who need help to them, and encourage those who can donate time or funds to the organizations to do so."

Moore began a correspondence and relationship with the other Wes Moore that has lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, he discovered that the other Wes had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they had hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices and the people in their lives would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.

Committed to helping the parents, teachers, mentors, and advocates who serve our nations youth, Moore is donating a portion of all book proceeds to City Year and the U.S. Dream Academy.

AIC Provost Todd G. Fritch, Ph.D., said Moore's message is one that is important for the whole campus community to hear. "Wes Moore's message is extraordinarily compelling and insightful. I'm sure he will challenge our students to think about their choices, their circumstances, and their ability to effect change in their own lives and in the lives of others."

Kimberly Beebe, associate dean of retention at AIC, said Moore's visit is especially relevant to AIC freshmen."This is a wonderful opportunity for students, especially first year students, faculty and staff to hear Wes Moore speak on his experiences. Our first year students had the chance to read his book and getting a chance to hear him speak can make for a great experience," she said.

Born in 1978, Moore and his sisters were raised by their widowed mother. Despite early academic and behavioral struggles, he graduated Phi Theta Kappa in 1998 as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College, and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001, where he also played football and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. He then became a Rhodes Scholar, studying International Relations at Oxford University.

While a student at Johns Hopkins he founded STAND!, which works with Baltimore youth involved in the criminal justice system.

After his studies, Moore, a paratrooper and captain in the United States Army, served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. He then served as a White House fellow to Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice.

He serves on the board of directors for the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), as well as the Johns Hopkins University board of directors.
American International College
Craig Greenberg