There are a plethora of Black men in America who are working to make the world a better place. Gerald Moore exemplifies what this website is all about. Our tagline is “ordinary men doing extraordinary things.”
Gerald A. Moore Sr.— a father of five who lives in Northern Virginia —is one of them. Moore recently resigned from his six-figure job to as a cyber security engineer to pursue his dream of running the nonprofit he founded called Mission Fulfilled 2030, on a full-time basis. The socialpreneur is committed to impacting 100,000 black boys in technology by 2030. Moore was athletically gifted enough to receive a Division One Football Scholarship, but his “D” grade point average stopped those opportunities. Moore persevered and graduated from Norfolk State University. The author currently wants black boys to be in the pipeline for STEM opportunities, by inspiring them to consider entering the field. Additionally, Moore has provided over 60 Chromebooks to youth who needed them for distance learning, during the pandemic.
BMIA.com: Tell me a little about yourself. What are you committed to do by 2030 and why?
Gerald Moore: I’m an engineer with 20 years of experience. I grew up in Rochester, New York. I’m the author of the book, “Motivate Black Boys: How to Prepare for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” (STEM).” I’m a contributing author in the new book, “When Men Lean In We All Win: Revitalization, Representation, & Education.” I also enjoy being a motivational speaker, STEM education advocate, socialpreneur and youth sports coach. In 2018, I realized I could use technology to impact more than the ten boys on my basketball team. Therefore, I developed a pilot program. That birthed the Gerald Moore Technology School for Black Boys, with the intention of focusing on boys in Baltimore, Prince George’s County and DC metro area.
BMIA.com: What is the vision behind your nonprofit, Mission Fulfilled?
Gerald Moore: We will impact 100,000 black boys who are ages five to eighteen in a variety of technologies. They range from coding, web design, app development and engineering to electronics/electricity and automotive technology. In addition, we will connect with 10,000 black men in technology and college students who will provide a mentor pool. Mission Fulfilled 2030 will also showcase these men in our Technology to Manhood Lecture Series (TMLS) which is a showcase of black men to black boys. Growing up my parents didn’t know any professionals, engineers, lawyers, doctors. My only frame of reference came from the Cosby Show. Black boys need to see that professional black men exist.
BMIA.com: Tell me about your online school for black boys.
Gerald Moore: I designed it and created all of the original coursework for The Gerald Moore Tech School for Black Boys. In 2020 we decided to partner with some companies and organizations to increase our content output and disciplines we can teach. We are in our second year of existence.
BMIA.com: How are the courses you created set up?
Gerald Moore: Most of the coursework consists of short, actionable modules that build fundamentals of STEM. One of the great features is that the boys can work at their own pace asynchronously with prerecorded hands on courses. We also provide synchronous distance learning programs and live video workshops for $30 monthly.
BMIA.com: What was it like for you growing up as a black boy?
Gerald Moore: I lived in an inner city neighborhood that had a lot of boys, and I learned at a very young that I either had to stand up for myself, or I would be run over and/or bullied. Therefore, I learned how to fight. I was suspended from school more times than I care to remember. I had my first police encounter at twelve. I was expelled from school for fighting at the end of the eighth grade at fourteen. I attended the infamous Scared Straight Prison Intervention Program at fifteen.
BMIA.com: What was one of the most difficult experiences in your life?
Gerald Moore: I fathered a child at seventeen. I was a senior in high school, and wound up with full custody of my son, when he was three months old. Although I was living with my parents, my mother let me know in no uncertain terms that taking care of him my responsibility. Her role was voluntary, not mandatory. I got up in the mornings to drop Gerald Jr. off at day care, then make my way to school. I had football practice after school, then I worked at Hechinger in the lumber department, which was hard work. As soon as I returned home, my mother would say, “He’s all yours.” I would put my son to bed and then start my homework. This disciplined me to understand my responsibility, and to know that I needed to do and be better for my son.
BMIA.com: You were able to turn your life around and accomplish great things. What impact would you like to have in the world?
Gerald Moore: The impact that I would like to have on the world is one where my life experiences, trials and triumphs can be used to prove to not just black boys, but to anyone that you can make it and become successful despite your circumstances. I want to leave a legacy of service in this world where the mere mention of my name puts people in the spirit to serve.
BMIA.com: Why do you focus on encouraging black boys to pursue STEM careers?
Gerald Moore: I am a first-generation college student. If it were not for the HBCU (Historically Black College and University), and an open enrollment policy at the time, I would not have achieved earning a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from Norfolk State University. I know the difference opportunity can make. I focus on assisting black boys, because in my over 20 years of experience in IT, the percentage of black males entering the field has been stagnant in relation to all other groups of people which have multiple national organizations dedicated to their growth in technology and STEM.
I also have three daughters. The chance that my daughters will have the opportunity to marry a black man in the mold of their father is almost zero. Every black girl who desires should have the opportunity to build with a high-tech black man, but at this time, black males make up less than five percent of the high tech and STEM workforce. As opportunities in the digital high-tech field continue to grow, and salaries continue to rise, I feel is the only way to resurrect and reconstruct the black family is by starting from the ground up. The reconstruction of the black family must start with black boys.
BMIA.com: During the pandemic, your organization has been involved in providing free Chromebooks to youth across the United States. How can parents in need apply for computer assistance?
Gerald Moore: With the ever-expanding national need for tools to participate in distance learning, we have served students in Baltimore and other places around the country. Students in need from kindergarten to twelfth grade are eligible. Families can apply for Chromebooks via a case for support form through the website http://bit.ly/mf2030-cfs. If we temporarily run out of funding, we will start a waiting list to serve those children in need. WBAL’s video of one of my Chromebook deliveries is available via https://www.wbal.com/article/479830/124/stranger-answers-call-to-get-chromebooks-to-baltimore-teachers-students
BMIA.com: What gives life meaning to you? What is one of your most rewarding moments?
Gerald Moore: What gives my life meaning is being able to serve. Through Mission Fulfilled 2030, I have already given the equivalent of over $100,000 in service. Also, I have six children. One of the most rewarding moments of my life was when Gerald Jr. received a full college scholarship to play football at Ohio University. Seeing him become a collegiate All-American, and then walk the stage with his bachelor’s degree, meant that I had broken a cycle within my family. It took me back to that 17-year-old boy who had a child. The odds of success that I would make it, let alone the odds that he would be successful, was almost slim to none. But my son is a second-generation college graduate. Then, my second oldest daughter, Andrea, is on the Virginia Tech Tennis Team. The odds of having two of your children on division one sports teams is almost zero. As a black man, I am very proud of all of this.
BMIA.com: How can readers support Mission Fulfilled?
Gerald Moore: There are many ways that readers can support Mission Fulfilled 2030. The first way is to go to https://missionfulfilled2030.org/ and learn more about Mission Fulfilled 2030. Consider clicking the donate button to make a single or monthly donation to the organization. Secondly, share our organization with your network to be a mouthpiece in your community. Please tell every single person you know with a young black male that we exist. Sign up for the email list on the website to receive the latest news of how we are impacting communities. Readers may also purchase “Motivate Black Boys: How to Prepare for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” or “When Men Lean In We All Win” via https://www.amazon.com/Motivate-Black-Boys-Technology-Engineering-ebook/dp/B07XCG9DTG or https://www.paypal.com/instantcommerce/checkout/64U4U5P53AWEG . Finally, to participate in the technology fundraiser, please click the donate button on the website. As a part of the challenge, we are asking people to share the fundraiser on their social media channels. We are asking supporters to use the copy: “I donated to the Mission Fulfilled 2030 Tech Fund Challenge! http://bit.ly/mf2030-tfc #MF2030TFC”
- Photo credit: Gerald Moore, Sr.
- Special thanks to Andrea Blackstone for managing this interview.