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A Promising Name: Isaiah Moore

2019 Graduate Profiles

Remember the name Isaiah Moore. You may find it on a voting ballot one day when he runs for U.S. president.

In May, the 22-year-old political science major will receive his Bachelor of Arts from Governors State University, a place where Moore has begun laying the groundwork for a career in public service that he hopes will one day lead to the nation’s top job.

“I was definitely put on this earth by God to serve,” Moore said. “If you have the opportunity to make your impact bigger, why not make it?”

Growing up in Chicago’s troubled Auburn-Gresham neighborhood has made him passionate about improving it. “I have to change the neighborhood I came from,” he said. “We need to get people resources, knowledge, and opportunities.”

Moore has a plan. After graduating from GSU, he will head to the University of Illinois in Chicago this fall to start on his master’s degree in urban planning and policy. Next, he expects to spend 10 years working for nonprofit organizations where he can establish community centers in underserved neighborhoods.

After that, Moore said, he should be ready to make a run for Congress. Having piloted an internship program in the Chicago office of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush’s 1st District, Moore said he’s familiar with what constituents need.

He even has experience on the campaign trail. Working with Jason Gonzales, who made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Moore said he reached out to donors and canvassed voters by phone. “Everyone, including Jason Gonzales, knew he wasn’t going to win. But I learned what it takes to run a campaign, and he gave me perspective on what it takes to start one,” he said.

Moore’s experience extends to Washington, D.C. where he interned for the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, helping lobbyists seek aid for schools on federally owned land, such as military bases, that are not funded by local property taxes. Moore has also interned for the Chicago Scholars Program, which mentors academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities.

Recently, he was elected to a statewide office. As Senate President for Model Illinois Government (MIG), Moore will decide which bills the senate will vote on during the spring 2020 simulation. MIG gives about 300 college students a chance to practice their political skills for three days after a year of preparation.

Moore admits he is looking forward to wielding his power next year. “I’ll be the one who holds the gavel.”

On campus, Moore has made time to serve as a peer mentor, and he has advised dozens of students in GSU’s Center for Junior Year. “I know the resources they need to survive and thrive. And I feel a moral responsibility to give back,” he said.

Transferring from a larger university, Moore chose GSU because he saw room for his own potential. “I could see my greatness here, and I immediately began to get involved and get my name out,” he said.

“This is a place where I could leave a legacy. And I did.”

Moore has been so active on campus that even President Elaine P. Maimon knows him by name. “I’ve worked really closely with her as a student orientation leader,” Moore said. “My relationship-building skills have grown. My oratory skills have grown. And my leadership is impeccable for my age.”

The best laid plans may often go awry, but Moore’s seem to be on track.

“I tell people I plan to be president one day and they say, ‘When I see you running, I’m going to vote for you.’”