- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
Darryl Moore's mission is making sure Milwaukee-area African American high school students understand the importance of going to college. And not just any college. His alma mater, Lakeland College, is at the top of the list.
Currently the math specialist at Congress Elementary School in Milwaukee, Moore oversees other teachers and helps them to improve their students' learning. In addition, Moore started a group called Junior Betas, which connects elementary students in the area with mentors who can help them understand the particular problems that can happen in inner cities. Through the program, Moore connects members of the Beta Sigma Omega fraternity (mainly from Lakeland) with young people, helping them to see how they can be successful. It begins with placing high value on a college education.
"Studies show that up until third grade, there is not that much difference in what children need to understand the challenges facing them," Moore said. "After third grade, racial differences do matter. Children need to understand that images they see of African Americans in the media are not the real story." Moore is adept and successful at helping young people see a clearer picture.
Moore has been an ambassador for Lakeland College for several years. As our Alumni Ambassador program takes shape, we can learn from the impact that his influence as a graduate has had on prospective students. He has mentored high school students directly, met them through younger siblings, and instructed them as a deacon at his church. When Moore brings a high school student to Lakeland to visit, that young person not only gets a picture of what college is really like, but learns about Lakeland through Moore's personal experience.
His vision of what is possible at college was shaped, in part, by his time as a Beta on Lakeland's campus in the mid-1990s. "The fraternity teaches accountability, and gives a sense of family. Every time I set foot on the campus now, I see Lakeland as home. The fraternity was my family. I saw people that went home every weekend. They didn't last long."
Moore cites Dr. Mehraban Khodavandi as one of his most important influences. "I call him Uncle Mehraban, he calls me his nephew. When I was in his class, he told me I needed to get my grades up. He told me I owed it to my community to go back and make a difference." Laughing, Moore adds, "He also told me if I didn't get my act together, he would wring my neck!"
Moore made good on all his promises to his respected mentor. He not only graduated from Lakeland, but went on to attain a master's degree from Cardinal Stritch, as promised. "Some people at Lakeland have a way of impacting your life forever," Moore said. "Professor Khodavandi was one of them for me."
He also remembers very fondly, and with some amazement, that after graduation, when he wanted to help the Betas expand their reach, he received help from then-alumni director, Mary Piehl. Moore needed to get to a meeting down in Kenosha. "Mary, who was the staff advisor to the Betas, drove an hour to pick me up (she had no baby sitter for her son, so she brought him along), drove me to the meeting, and then brought me all the way back home. Her dedication and willingness to help me was one of those things that makes a person say wow."
What would Moore say to new graduates? "Never underestimate or devalue what you have learned at Lakeland." Then he added, "Even more important, make sure to show the people who gave you tremendous love that they are cherished, whether it is a favorite professor or someone who works in housekeeping, like Paul [Temme]. Paul would do anything for you. That is a person who should be cherished and remembered."
Darryl Moore has been an Alumni Ambassador of his own making, but you can bet his experience and dedication to Lakeland College and to young people will be much appreciated as we move forward with this important new endeavor. If you would like more information on becoming an Alumni Ambassador, contact Lisa Vihos, director of alumni relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Darryl Moore can be reached at email@example.com.