SOWED IN RICH SOIL: First Generation Alumna Answers Call, Encourages Change

Aliea MooreNearly three years ago, Aliea Moore ’15 said she felt like she had been planted at Notre Dame College.

A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Matthew 13:3-4

The first in her family to attend college, Moore worked as many as four different off-campus jobs—including the night shift at a gas station—while taking a full load of courses to pay her tuition and afford food.

Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Matthew 13:5-6

Her family suffered hardships during that time as well: Both parents lost their jobs. Her mother was hospitalized. Her grandmother and dog died.

Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. Matthew 13:7

“One thing that never changed is I had something to believe in,” Moore said. “We don’t all believe in the same thing, but we all believe in one thing. You believe in yourself.”

But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Matthew 13:8

“Personally, I believe in God. I believe he made me wonderfully and for a purpose. That’s where my belief in myself comes from,” she added.

But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Matthew 13:23

 

Eric Matthews

 

Moore created positive change in her life when she obtained a position working on campus in the residence life department at Notre Dame. As a resident assistant, she championed for those who lived on her floor. She voiced their concerns and spoke on their behalf to see changes occur in residence hall communities.

Her social justice classes engaged her in recognizing social injustices. Her public policy courses empowered her to lobby the state legislature for financial aid on behalf of college students.

The pre-law major realized she was called to become more than an attorney.

Her internship while still a student: She helped to affect system-wide change while serving as an advocate with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.

“That’s the kind of change that I hope to inspire,” Moore said. “I want to influence legislators to incorporate new policies aimed at improving lives or change existing laws to improve circumstances for communities across the nation.”

Aliea QuoteSince graduating with her bachelor’s degree in political science from Notre Dame this spring, Moore has been working in Columbus with an organization called I Know I Can. She is helping to build a mentoring program for Central Ohio students, many who are low-income and first generation college students.

Moore returned to Notre Dame to give the keynote address at the launch for the College’s First Generation Center, an intensive mentoring program to assist Pell Grant-eligible students who are the first in their families to attend college— students who, like Moore, may struggle to find their solid ground but want to persist and complete their degrees.

“None of those things will ever happen unless you believe in you and your ability to change the world,” Moore told that inaugural cohort of students in the FirstGen Center. “I didn’t have a lot to fall back on, but when your back is against the wall, I need you to remain game changers, to believe in yourself.”

Now Moore is about to begin a selective fellowship with the Ohio General Assembly. She also plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy.

“I want to work in public policy not just because I want to help people but because I want to change generations. I want to tackle the systemic issues and problems that plague our communities and our families at all levels,” Moore said. “I want to be a portion of the small current of change that sets a standard for others to achieve, dream and aspire to become more.”

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