Teens have opportunities for success in their lives

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

William Moore gives youngsters at the Girardot Center for Youth a clear message with the example of how he turned around his life, got a college degree and is likely headed for the NFL

When teenagers mess up their lives with drugs, booze and crime, it is all too easy to write them off as failures who have little chance of success in life. That might have been the future of William Moore from Hayti, Mo., who at age 13 spent seven months at the Girardot Center for Youth in Cape Girardeau, a program whose aim is to give purpose and direction to at-risk youngsters.

The program worked for Moore. He graduated last year from the University of Missouri with a degree in psychology. He was an All-American safety for the Tigers, and he is likely to be a pick in the NFL draft this year.

Moore knows all too well the direction his life might have taken, and he asked to speak to teens at the Girardot Center about the choices they must make. Moore told them last week that his own determination to succeed played a big role in his life. So did the mentoring and guidance he received at the Girardot Center, a Missouri Division of Youth Services program that has given many youngsters an opportunity to turn their lives around.

Moore's advice to the youngsters at the Girardot Center was simple and to the point: "Life is a system. You just got to play it the right way." That's good advice for all of us.

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