No dream too big: Author shares his story


Photo by: Josh Carroll

Caylin Moore (left) talking to Olivia Brannen (right) during book signing.

Caylin Louis Moore, author of “A Dream Too Big: The Story of an Improbable Journey from Compton to Oxford” spoke to students Feb. 8 about his story of growing up in poverty to becoming a Rhodes Scholar at a book signing event on campus.

Raised in Compton, California, Moore grew up in an area riddled with gang activity. He said his childhood experiences informed him on spatial injustice and inequalities that arise from areas that people live in.

One memory he recalled was playing tether-ball with two other boys at school when he was 6 years old. At such a young age, he said the boys were already talking about what they’ll do if they go to prison.

“I remember that story so deeply because I mourn for the fact that these young boys had already been creating strategies, you know, even at the age of 6,” Moore said, “because the empirical reality that they’re faced with that one day that their destination may very well be in a prison.”

This instance, among others, inspired Moore to use his experiences to guide him in his efforts to contribute to the public good. Sophomore Olivia Brannen said Moore’s story was a good example of what can be accomplished with this mindset.

“Being a Rhodes Scholar and getting into Fullbright, it’s really inspiring to hear someone can do that,” she said.

Students and faculty lining up for Caylin Moore’s book signing. (Photo by: Josh Carroll)

Senior Shomari Evans said Moore’s story is especially important for those who can relate to it.

“When he was talking about his childhood, I think a lot of people go through something similar, but a lot of people don’t speak on it,” Evans said.

Moore is currently a parent of three and a doctoral candidate in Stanford’s sociology department. He attributed his success to people who cared for and encouraged him such as his mother and various teachers.

Moore said he tries to be this kind of figure for people and encouraged others to do the same.

“You have to be those saints for other people, those advocates,” he said. “Another quote that I hear, another African proverb, is that if you want to go fast, you go alone, right? But if you want to go far, you go together.”