celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

Multitasking just one talent for self-reliant teen

By Chris Ramirez

Moses Christian has had to grow up pretty fast.

At 18, he's worked two years at the same fast-food restaurant and helps take care of his younger brother.

And he does it all while holding down a solid relationship with his high school sweetheart and splitting time in high school sports.

Moses' ability to multitask while staying focused on his career goals will be rewarded this month when he joins hundreds of other students in graduating from Palo Duro High School.

He has held down passing grades and a 20-hour-a-week job at Whataburger. Such pressures give little way to spare time. But, when he's had it, he has suited up for the Dons' football and track squads.

And then there's sketches, hundreds of them he has doodled over the years.

Keeping him in line in that time has been his girlfriend, Dupree Cummings, who also attends Palo Duro.

Moses concedes he had a lot of forces working against him.

His father is in prison in Colorado and isn't in the picture. He and his brother Johnathan, 16, were removed from their mother's custody.

They now live with their 82-year-old uncle, Chester Graves. Moses credits Graves with forging his sharp sense of self-reliance.

"He has taught me that I've got to provide my own way, to do for myself," Moses said. "No one's going to give you anything in life. You've got to do for yourself."

Moses plans to attend Amarillo College in the fall to pursue either an engineering or radiology degree.

He wants to be a radiologist, so he can work with patients while also nourishing his science interests.

"I've always been pretty good in sciences and knowing about the human anatomy," Moses said.

But his body of knowledge doesn't stop there.

He also has prowess with electronics and auto work. So he could multitask yet again.

If he does, he has supporters backing him.

"It looked like everything was against him, but he's succeeding," said Janice Molden, his stepgrandmother. "He knows how to succeed in life."

Editor's note: Beating the Odds is a series published in the Amarillo Globe-News from May 10-24 that tells the stories of all kinds of students who are graduating despite challenges they've faced. It is part of Celebrate Education, a program designed to bring awareness to the need of educational attainment in the Texas Panhandle.

calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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