Caylin L. Moore: Life Isn’t Easy

Caylin L. Moore (Rhodes Scholar 2017, Fulbright Scholar, TCU) Photo of Caylin Moore

“Life Isn’t Easy”

I am from a single parent home. Things have not always been easy for my family, but my mother has made it work. My mother has been raising my brother, sister and myself alone for the last 10 years. My parents divorced when I was six years old because of domestic violence. My father often threatened to kill my siblings and me. By the time I was 6 years old, my mother found the courage to leave my father, go to law school, graduate, and save her children from the cycle of abuse. But that did not mean that it was completely over. On August 27, 2009, my father carried out a heinous act that I knew he was capable of committing. At close range, he took a rifle, placed it to the chest of his then current live-in girlfriend and pulled the trigger and murdered the young woman in a fit of anger and rage.

I am sorry to say that I know this would one day happen. He is now in prison for murder. I am grateful that my mother did what was necessary to provide a safer living environment for us. I keep focused on my future by constantly reminding myself of a saying by NFL great Cris Carter, “Every good man I know, been through something.” Instead of yielding to this adversity, I have learned to use it to fuel my fire and strive for better. I have been able to exhibit strength, endurance, and character even in the worst of times. Though my mother is a very strong person, she has a number of critical health and mental health issues which hinder her from working a full-time job. As a result, my family is always on the verge of a financial hardship. Due to unfortunate circumstances and setbacks that have occurred in her life, she has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Depression. As the “man” of our house, I see to it that we keep her stress level at a minimum. I shield her from threatening environments, and I try to keep her upbeat; cheer her up with excellent grades, high work standards, and good ethics so that she can be proud of me. My mother also has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, Cardiomyopathy, High Blood Pressure, Sickle-Cell Anemia and Asthma (both of which I suffer from), High Cholesterol and has already undergone surgery to remove a malignant tumor on her heart. She takes close to 20 different medications a day. My room is intentionally next to hers. I listen to her at night as she sleeps and I get up to check in on her at night to ensure that she doesn't stop breathing.

I often use this time, in the middle of the night, to do my homework. Using my mother as an example, I have been able to achieve academic success because failure is not an option. My mother always reminds me that because she provides food, clothing, and shelter, my job is to pay her by going to school every day and getting good grades. I have a quiet inner strength. I know that my options in life are not limited by my past, or by the choices of those in my past. I realize that my future is bright, I am only limited by my dreams and I dream big! Academic failure is often blamed on a person's situation, my refusal to be a victim of my situation is the reason for my success.

Because of my commitment to community service, I have volunteered many service hours to assist the Southern California Falcons Youth Football program as an actual Certified Youth Football Coach. I have further shown my commitment to mentoring young men into manhood through my participation with their Men In Training program. Because I am the Varsity Quarterback of the Verbum Dei Football team, I am the young man that people tend to go to for advice on the field and about life in general. I serve my school religiously by being part of the Campus Ministry Leadership Team, which plans mass and numerous other faith-based activities such as retreats.

By appearance, I am a reserved and humble young man, but through my experiences, I have become wise beyond my years. If afforded the opportunity, I am sure that I can be a beacon of light for others to follow and a testament of perseverance. The average human being would be crushed by the weight of the odds against me, yet I seem to consistently beat the odds and even out the playing field.

What is a Rhodes Scholar? At 100 years old, the Rhodes is the granddaddy of all fellowships, both the most prestigious and the most arduous. To become one of the elite 32 scholars selected nationwide each December, candidates must be nominated by their university, approved by their state Rhodes committee, pass muster at a cocktail party, interview on the state level and, finally, survive a second cocktail party and interview on the regional level.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 11:01 AM