The Two Wes Moore's
What made the difference? (Video Interviews)
There is no set in stone difference between the two Wes Moore's. However, I believe that the thing that made the difference was author Wes' move to the Bronx. Had he stayed in Baltimore for his whole childhood he would have had no parent figures besides his mother, who was working all the time. His grandparents were able to care for him when his mother was busy. Also, his grandparents were able to help him financially with his schooling. Whenever his mother needed money to pay for Military School, they mortgaged their home to help pay for it. One of the biggest things that made a difference was Wes' grandparents. Had the other Wes had grandparents to take care of him when he was struggling, things might have turned out differently.
For the other Wes, the difference maker was the environment he grew up in. The neighborhood he grew up in was a mess. Drugs were the law and the cops could do very little about it. Even kids as young as 5 and 6 years old could serve as runners for drug dealers. The streets were able to lure in the Other Wes with the promise of big money and nice clothes as the bait. The deal was so enticing that he could not just say no. He took this bait and would end up being a professional in the drug game with crime on the side.
Meeting the mothers of each Wes Moore gave me a more personal understanding of each Wes' story. Although it mainly validated my previous thoughts, I was able to see how each mother felt about it about how their child was raised. Mary Moore realized when Wes was at a young age that he was giving up on school and he was getting in the drug game. Even when Mary knew, she did not do anything to stop him from getting involved with the crime on the streets. Joy Moore, mother of the successful Wes Moore, never gave up on her child. She knew he was OK with C's in school, so she pushed him harder to bring his grades up. Parental support is key to ensuring achievement for kids in today's society.
Forks in the Road
When you look at the two Wes Moore's life, they both ended up in different places because of the choices that had made at a certain point in their lives. As "Author" Wes Moore grew up, he realized that he needed to change his ways and turn his life around so he did not end up selling drugs, being put in jail, and disappointing his mom for the rest of his life. Once he went to military school, he turned he turned his life around, ending up in in the military and now being a successful author. The other Wes Moore tried to turn his life around but eventually gave up, resorting back to his old ways of a life of crime. He ended up in prison as the harsh consequence of his choices. One stumble down the wrong path can lead to a completely different destiny than the step down the right one.