Community Spotlight with Addison DeMoss
Respect, Patience, Hard Work, and Perseverance
by Addison DeMoss
Greetings, I am Addison DeMoss a senior Political Science major currently attending Morehouse College and I am originally from Nashville, Tennessee. While enrolled in High school I was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. I attended an art school called Nashville School of the Arts and studied voice and played the saxophone. Outside of school I was in a band, was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, practiced karate, attended a YMCA affiliated college preparation program, and was a member of a church youth group. My Grandmother, whom I call MaMa, raised me since I was an infant and kept me preoccupied with activities to provide me a positive influence and help me stay out of trouble. She instilled very important values in me such as respect, patience, hard work, and perseverance. Early on MaMa helped me realize that the world does not owe me anything and that I must decide how far I go in life.
By being involved in so many activities, it taught me how to be an independent thinker and work well with others. The group that helped shape me the most was the Boy Scouts of America. I learned core values such as the ability to be trustworthy, friendly, and helpful. My interaction with other scouts and the skills we learned helped me become a more confident and outgoing person. I did not have a father figure while growing up and my Scoutmaster was a strong male role model who taught me the importance of what being a man is.
I chose to attend college, because I understood that earning a higher education for most people is the key to having a fulfilling life. An education allows a person to increase their intellectual capacity. People can think for themselves and use their knowledge to help others around them in a positive way. The more people educate themselves, the more they are aware of things and how to coexist with each other. More specifically I chose to attend Morehouse College, because I felt I was lacking an important side of my culture as an African-American male. I wanted to become more aware of my culture and surround myself with other people attempting to do the same.
Before I traveled abroad, I had limited knowledge about other cultures and how people lived outside of the United States. Witnessing the culture and livelihood of foreigners in their country is very different from watching something on television, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper. You have the opportunity to interact with people on a first person basis and immerse yourself in their culture, from how they speak, to what they wear, and their world views. Traveling abroad to areas such as Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, among others allowed me to form my own thoughts about the places I visited and not thoughts from the American media. It is always a wonderful opportunity to travel to different places and experience new things. It allows people to educate themselves about different customs and views while becoming a well-rounded individual.
I am currently in the process of being selected as a Peace Corps Volunteer and I plan to serve a community at whatever location I may be placed in. The international exposure I have gained, coupled with the years of service I have taken part in, has inspired me to help the less fortunate in a foreign country. I want to be helpful in whatever way possible and make a change in a community that is in dire need. After I complete my service as a volunteer, I plan to attend graduate school and earn an M.A. in Human Rights Studies, with the goal of creating a Nonprofit organization for at-risk youth. It is my belief that a home with strong family values, participation in extracurricular groups, a firm belief in education, and international exposure are all keys to living a culturally stimulating and morally satisfying life. I have been very fortunate to have all of these qualities and values and I want to do my best to share these values with others.