Salt Lake City—“Where does resilience come from?” That was the question author and social worker Christian Moore explored with students from City Academy during a schoolwide town meeting on Oct. 5. City Academy’s motto is Respect, Responsibility, Resiliency.
Moore is the author of “The Resilience Breakthrough: 27 Tools for Turning Adversity into Action.” He came from a blended family of 12 children, and spent most of his childhood on the streets of a tough neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C. By the time he was in second grade, he had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, conduct disorder and severe learning disabilities. Despite these disadvantages, Moore went on to become the only person in his family to receive a college degree, which was eventually complemented with a master’s degree in social work.
Moore has been quoted as saying that “Eighty percent of change in a child’s life will come from a relationship.” During his presentation at City Academy, he recalled how his biological mother let him skip school all the time. Had it not been for the intervention of a friend’s mother, Mama Jackson, Moore said he never would have graduated from a major university. “She taught me how to not give up,” he added.
Moore said Mama Jackson would feed him, help him with homework, and even physically get him out of bed to go to school for two years. When Moore completed his MSW, no one from his immediate family attended his graduation, but Mama Jackson flew 2,000 miles to be there. Moore said that when he saw her, “I thought to myself, before I’m six feet under, I’m going to make sure every child in America has access to the social and Emotional education she gave me.”
According to his website, resiliencebreakthrough.com, “Christian’s personal mission is to ensure that all human beings are given the opportunity to thrive, regardless of social or economic status, race, background, or other personal obstacles. With this in mind, Christian has expanded his vision from his highly successful WhyTry Program for youth to an adaptation that can provide EVERYONE with the tools and opportunity to develop a resilient mindset.”
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