Nicholas (Nick) Moses. Courtesy of Nick Moses

by John White 

The Southwest Waterfront has birthed, educated and nurtured youths who overcame challenges to reach great heights. The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly’s (SWNA) Education and Scholarship Task Force (ESTF) has been a hub in our incubator, and 27 year old Nicholas (Nick) Moses is a promising beneficiary; well on his way to achieving greatness and paying it forward. 

Moses received ESTF scholarships in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. He grew up living in Greenleaf Gardens and James Creek and attended Anthony Bowen Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School. At Bowen, a committed and no-nonsense teacher, Ms. Williamson, lit the spark that inspired Moses to become an educator. A City Year AmeriCorps internship serving as a Student Success Coach and Team Lead in elementary schools later strengthened his commitment to a career in public education.

Moses attended Anacostia High School, Virginia State University and Colorado Technical University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He will earn his Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education degree at American University next year. Moses thrives on the intentional engagement and opportunities to impact public and charter school students that comes with being in the classroom.

The Southwest Boys and Girls Club (now defunct, but previously based at Bowen) and the King Greenleaf Recreation Center engaged Moses in football and Taekwondo among other extracurricular activities. A high school music teacher, Mr. Keith Kilgo, introduced him to the trombone. A few years later, Moses earned a scholarship to play in a marching band at the collegiate level.

When playing in the band left too little time and energy for his studies, he chose to pivot away from music and transfer schools. With support from relatives and community, Moses overcame this and other hardships. His struggles and those of neighbors reinforced his desire to serve and advocate for the underserved. He grew into a soft-spoken, relaxed activist outside and in the classroom.

Moses has taught in several elementary schools, both DC Public Schools and charter schools, where he lives for the “a-ha” moments. He was moved by differences he observed in challenges, opportunities and resources across the two school systems. As an anti-bias educator committed to addressing structural and systemic inequalities, Moses hopes to reduce disparities to better serve our neediest youths. He encourages and helps his students to advocate for themselves.

Inspired by former educators who’ve spent decades making an impact in the classroom, he is well on his way to a successful career, having already earned a coveted “Highly Effective” performance evaluation.

Moses shared that he is grateful for our community’s support, and hopes to help ESTF expand its reach. We should all keep our eyes on this young, emerging leader, and do all we can to sustain the local institutions that helped launch him.

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