By Nate Perez
Bryce Moore is not your typical college senior. He’ll be pursuing a non-traditional path after graduation.
Not only is he leaving the Quincy area, but he is also leaving the country for his career. Moore will leave for Morocco in September to begin his career with the Peace Corps. He will serve as a youth asset builder.
Moore will primarily be working with the youth in an assigned community, which he will have to incorporate himself into. He will step in where the community needs it most, so his responsibilities could include summer camps, English classes, after school programs, youth homes, foster care and more.
Acceptance into the Peace Corps can be very difficult and time consuming. The application process is known to be difficult.
“I think they do that so they can weed out a lot of people who aren’t dedicated to the process,” Moore said.
Applying can take up to six months, depending on when one applies. However, most of the time, to be seriously considered, applicants have been working towards this goal early on by volunteering and gaining professional experience in their ideal sector.
Moore applied for the youth development sector because he has been working with youth since he was a teenager. He will return to New York this summer as the head counselor for a teen leadership program for young men with social, emotional and learning differences to continue to develop skills he can use abroad.
“I’ve been helping and working with kids for a long time, and I’m more than excited to move to Morocco for 27 months to continue my work,” Moore said.
While at QU, Moore connected with a recruiter to make the application process smoother.
“It was very time consuming and worrying. I didn’t want to mess anything up. I’ve always wanted to travel, and the Peace Corps seemed like a perfect fit,” he said.
Moore interviewed in January and was offered an invitation to serve a few days after. He has been preparing for his journey ever since.
“There is a lot to think about. I will be uprooting my entire life for over two years, all into two suitcases,” Moore said.
Since accepting the position in Morocco, he has been working on getting medically and legally cleared, gaining a Peace Corps passport, doing online coursework, and reviewing the Arabic language.
“There’s a lot to prepare to volunteer in another country,” Moore said. “It’s been a long road with a lot of hard work, but it will definitely be worth it.”
Associate Professor of Communication Barbara Schleppenbach helped Moore prepare his application.
“The Peace Corps role provides Bryce with a logical extension of his consistent effort to use his gift for communication to help others, particularly those who have difficulty making their voices heard,” Schleppenbach said. “He also enjoys experiencing diverse cultures, so this opportunity is a perfect fit. The Peace Corps has proved to be a reliable stepping stone to careers in public service, and I’m sure that Bryce will have many options at the conclusion of his tour in Morocco.”
Moore has traveled to every American state except Alaska and Hawaii, but leaving the country will be something new for him. In Morocco, there will be areas where he can still connect to Wi-Fi and get cell service. However, he will not know for sure until he arrives and is placed in his community.
“America is kind of nice because you can do pretty much whatever you want during the day without much thought, but in Morocco, a prominently Muslim country, there are specific traditions and customs I will need to respect,” Moore said.
Transitioning into a new culture can be hard, but the hardest part for Moore may be leaving his support system back home.
“I’m really excited that Bryce has this opportunity because no one deserves it more,” fellow communication classmate Lauren Beeman said. “He will not only benefit from the experience, but the people he meets will benefit from knowing him and knowing what a genuine person he is. Since I’ve known, him he’s done nothing but help and encourage me and others and now he gets to do that on a global scale. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Moore will spend 27 months in Morocco with the option to complete a third year if he chooses.
“From what other people have said, it can get pretty lonely. I’m used to doing things on my own, but this will be very different. I’m excited for the challenge,” Moore said. “A lot of people go to grad school, and I’m not opposed to that. I really want to find a job where I can continue to travel and help people. I really hope this leads to a future career.”