“Look at him now!” says Jayson Hyman ’09, Immaculata University’s head men’s basketball coach, speaking about Tim Moore ’20. Moore has changed a lot in his four years at Immaculata University as a criminology major and basketball player.
Lisa Brown, an associate faculty member in IU’s civic engagement department, agrees. “I’ve had him throughout the years at Immaculata and basically seen him grow up, from a student who didn’t say a word to a student who participates in all his classes.”
Freshman year was difficult for Moore. He missed his family in Philadelphia. He had had good college preparation in high school at Boys’ Latin, but he was unsure of how best to study for his classes.
He thought of his 14-year-old sister back home. “I had to step up and be a big brother to her,” he says. He wanted to show her that if he could overcome and succeed, so could she. And he had the support of his family—his parents, aunts and uncles. “I have a whole fan base!” he says.
Moore also found supporters among Immaculata’s faculty and staff. “Sister Jo was there for me,” says Moore, referring to Sister Joseph Marie Carter, IHM, Ed.D., executive director of academic success and advising. She advised him on how to be a better student. “She just knew I had the passion to finish school.”
Brown saw Moore’s eagerness to learn. “He listens and absorbs everything,” she says.
Hyman also noticed Moore’s willingness to listen as a student-athlete. Hyman sees similarities between himself and Moore—both are from the same general area in Philadelphia, and both chose to attend IU and play basketball. During Moore’s sophomore year, Hyman encouraged him to finish his degree. “He’s a role model,” Moore says of his coach. “He graduated from Immaculata, and he lets us know that if he can do it, we can do it, too.”
When Moore was a junior, Hyman pushed him to excel not just in basketball but also in his studies. “I know you can do it,” Hyman told him. “If you’re wearing this jersey, it means I trust you in academics and work ethic on the court.”
Some young adults might have rolled their eyes. But Moore listened. “He stuck by it,” Hyman says. He never heard Moore complain when his teammates got more playing time than he did. “He’s not blinded by his ego,” Hyman says.
As a senior, Moore was a leader in the basketball program, Hyman says. “It helps a lot of the young guys that he was someone they can lean on and talk to.”
Hyman adds, “His work ethic is great—he was doing school, working a job and playing basketball.” Moore was hired last summer as a part-time correctional officer in a juvenile detention unit in Chester County. Brown invited the unit’s director to Immaculata’s campus to meet her students. He interviewed Moore and hired him on the spot.
“I fell in love with it,” Moore says. “And the kids started to love me, too.” Moore tells them, “If you work with me, I’ll work with you.” He lays out the ground rules, and the boys respect them. “He has power,” Brown says. “He’s quiet and soft spoken, but when he speaks, he has a lot to say.” Moore’s supervisor told Brown that although the boys are often loud, they quiet down to hear what Moore has to say.
Moore makes sure to have fun with the boys, too. “I play basketball with them every day. We play card games, read books.”
Commenting on Moore’s gift for working with youth, Hyman says, “He’s been through college, and he understands what education can get you. So he’s had a lot of life lessons that he can share.”
Now that he has his bachelor’s degree, Moore wants to earn a master’s in criminal justice. “My main goal is to become a director at the juvenile detention center. I just love working with young kids.”
“I feel like that can be a calling for him,” Hyman says. “I’m glad he’s on his path.”
“I think he really found himself,” Brown says. “He’s a natural mentor.”