|Graduation at Madison College
No Turning Back
|Despite all of the misfortunes that have come her way, Eboni Moore
is victorious as she graduates from Madison College.
“I was going through a really bad depression. I was dealing with severe depression and then I had three people who were significant in my life die within three
months of each other. Two of them had a heart attack and one killed himself. And then my mom got really, really sick at that time too. It just overwhelmed me and I
decided to drop out.”
It took Moore four years to get situated so that she could return to Madison College last fall. And like the first time around, things were humming along. But then at
the start of the second semester in January of this year, tragedy started rocking Moore’s world once more.
“In January, I underwent an emergency surgery to get my appendix removed,” Moore said. “It was about to rupture. It was January 5. I went to work and my
stomach hurt. I didn’t understand why and then I couldn’t walk. And then I started throwing up and I couldn’t sit down and then I couldn’t lay down. I got rushed to the
UW Hospital emergency room and they did a CT-Scan and that’s when they told me, ‘You have appendicitis and it’s about to rupture.’ And they were supposed to do
the surgery the next day, but five minutes later, something happened. Something went wrong. The doctor called the nurse and said, ‘She needs to go to surgery right
now.” That’s the first time in my life that I ever needed surgery. I was terrified and I was by myself. And I got approved to get off of bedrest the day the semester
started back for school. So then I missed the first couple of days of school and then the first day I was back to work three days later, I ended up getting really
dehydrated, had a high heart rate and had a high fever. I was dizzy and I couldn’t stand up on my own. And so then I missed another couple of days of classes. My
teacher was like, ‘Oh, you should just drop and try again next semester.’ And I was like, ‘No, I have to finish this semester. I have to finish strong.’”
And then comes March and history began to repeat itself. Her brother and three cousins were killed in a car crash on Northport Drive and Packers Avenue when
their vehicle failed to negotiate a turn. It was devastating to Moore. But unlike last time, Moore was not going to become depressed and drop out. She moved
forward. And then COVID-19 hit later in March and April. It was not how she had envisioned finishing her college career.
“I have a laptop, and I had worked on it before,” Moore said. “My laptop has a cameras on it. For my criminology class I had to take, it was a joint class with other
classes from other campuses. We had to physically log on to the website for the class. So I had the equipment, but I am more of a hands-on physical type of learner.
To be forced to sit there was so hard. Learning online was more exhausting than in-person. I think I was more exhausted mentally with it because every time I got
on, I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ But then I thought about my brother and my older sister who had passed away. I said, ‘Okay, you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to
do it.’ A lot of my papers for class became about my year so far and COVID-19 and what I would do. All of my final papers were ‘This is what I did during COVID-19.’
‘Oh, I lost my brother.’ ‘Oh, I had surgery.’ All of my teachers were like, ‘Okay, I’m really glad you made it through very strong.’ They had said that I should come
back next year and I said no.”
Moore persevered and graduated in May. During the virtual graduation on May 21st, Moore felt the presence of her deceased family members for she is the first
college graduate in the family.
“I felt like my brother and sister were with me during the virtual graduation,” Moore said. “I told my godmother when she called to congratulate me, ‘The moment
they called my name on the screen, I felt like I felt my brother and my sister hugging me physically.. I felt it. They were there with me. I have a poster of my brother
and a big picture of my sister. It was like they came off of the poster and the picture just to hug me. I was crying.”
Moore will be attending Upper Iowa University this fall. She plans to get a degree in social work and hopes to one day get her Ph.D. But for now, she is ready to
impact people’s lives in her personal and professional lives.
“I would be satisfied and happy with any job where I can help a child in any way, shape or form,” Moore emphasized. “If it’s opening a community center to help a
kid or starting an organization to help a kid, it’s just being part of something that helps kids and their future. I want to go to the schools to get more of a one-on-one
setting with the child. I think I can give the kids a hope and a future to look forward to, just letting them know that every obstacle is not meant to keep you done. It’s
meant to take you to that next step and take you higher. This generation now is so different from when I was a kid. We had a little bit of support, but there is no hope
and no support for the future kids. I don’t want them to grow up feeling like they have to be a statistic or this is all there is to life when there is so much more out
And Moore’s incredible victory over life’s obstacles has allowed her to inspire others.
“My godmother said to me last night, ‘You’ve been through so much in your lifetime that you make it possible for those who think they can’t,’” Moore said. “’They
now know that they can.’ And so many of my friends are like, ‘Girls, you motivate me. You’re my inspiration. I want to go back to school. I’ll do it because you did it. I
know I can do it now.’ I say, ‘Just go no matter how hard the start is. Just go.’”
And the most important thing is to persevere no matter what the challenge is.
“People should know that I overcame the obstacles in my life that I thought I would never be able to overcome, especially when I dropped out of college,” Moore
emphasized. “People were like, ‘You were almost at the end. Why did you drop out?’ People just did not understand how dark of a place I was in to know that you
don’t have to stay there. It’s really all up to you on what you want to do in life, what you want to become and what you want to accomplish. It does not matter how
long it takes as long as you get up and do it and do something every day towards that goal, you’re going to make it.”
By Jonathan Gramling
It’s been an incredible journey for Eboni Moore who received her associate’s degree, a
liberal arts transfer degree, from Madison College. It’s been one of pain and setbacks, but in
the end victorious.
Like so many other Madisonians, Moore came to Madison with her family looking for a better
“I am originally from the south side of Chicago,” Moore said. “I moved here at the start of high
school. I moved here when I was 14-years-old and I’ve been here since then. I graduated
from Memorial High School on the west side and then I started Madison College right after
Moore went for a full year, but then tragedy struck.