White House Fellow, Army veteran, best-selling author and social entrepreneur Wes Moore gave a rousing talk at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) Wednesday, January 13, 2016, as he called on educators to combine advocacy, mentorship and social capital to move inner-city youth forward in a challenging age.
“How can we give more students the advocacy, and get more institutions to graduate students?” Moore asked members of the audience, comprised of faculty and staff of the college who came together for a day of staff development prior to the start of the spring semester.
“This is what led us to found BridgeEdU (www.bridgeedu.com)” he said, describing the program he started to assist young people to make the transition from high school to college, provide experiential learning through internships and ensure success by democratizing the pathway to college completion.
Moore, author of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, “The Other Wes Moore” spoke of his own difficulty early in life finding a path.
“What did I want to do? I didn’t have a context,” he said. “I realized it was all about finding a way to gain experiences which could connect with my true passions.” And connect with those passions he did— as a Johns Hopkins University Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, and White House Fellow serving former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Before this foray into the arena of peacemaking, he was an Army combat veteran in Afghanistan.
“Getting our kids into the game is more than just education,” he said. “It’s also about the critical relationships they will need. This social capital has to be developed, nurtured and accelerated.”