Web Extra: Wes Moore at WNET’s Celebration of Teaching & Learning

May 15, 2012 at 5:15 am

Author and youth advocate Wes Moore shares his own story of triumph and joins a panel of students to discuss factors contributing to their successes. What influences have shaped their lives and how can such influences be extended to their peers? What difference can education make? This panel discussion took place at WNET’s Celebration of Teaching & Learning. Students in the panel can be seen in the program “MetroFocus: Education Innovation.”


Wes Moore is the author of "The Other Wes Moore," a story about a man whose name and home neighborhood he shares, but whose life turned out much differently. Photo courtesy of Wes Moore.

The lives of two Wes Moores born in Baltimore in the late 1970s developed very differently.

One is a Rhodes scholar, U.S. Army combat veteran and White House Fellow who hosts a show on Oprah’s cable channel. The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison for the murder of an off-duty police officer.

When the scholar Wes Moore found out about the other through newspaper articles, he asked himself: How does this happen? How can two people with such similar backgrounds end up in such different places? The two men began a correspondence that has lasted nearly ten years and inspired the book, “The Other Wes Moore.”

According to Wes Moore, the scholar, the stories of the two men could have just as easily been reversed. He lost his father at a young age and after his mother scraped together enough money to send him to private school, he began to act out in class. With his behavioral problems worsening, Moore’s mother sent him to military academy. It wasn’t until after his repeated attempts to escape the academy that he decided straighten out and apply himself to schoolwork. A few years later, he graduated with honors from John Hopkins University.

Since publishing his book, Moore has been committed to helping young people redirect their lives and supporting the parents, teachers, mentors and volunteers who care for, and work with, our nation’s youth.

Watch MetroFocus for more videos and articles about education in the metropolitan region.

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“MetroFocus: Education Innovation” premieres on May 15 at 10:30 p.m. on WLIW21; May 16 at 10:30 p.m. on NJTV; and May 17 at 8:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN.