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Caylin  Moore

Caylin Moore

Author, Rhodes Scholar & Aspiring Professor


By all rights, Caylin Louis Moore should be dead, in prison, or a gang member. Instead, he’s a Rhodes Scholar, author, speaker, and role model for every kid deprived of hope in downtrodden communities. In his book, A Dream Too Big: The Story of an Improbable Journey from Compton to Oxford, and as an inspirational keynote speaker, Caylin shares the story of his exodus from one of the most impoverished, gang-infested communities in the United States to the golden, dreaming spires of Oxford, England. Read More >

After Moore’s mother gathered her three young children and fled an abusive husband of nine years, leaving behind a comfortable middle-class life, Moore found himself in a bewildering and dangerous environment. The family lived in a neighborhood ruled by the Bloods, and Caylin often lay awake at night, terrified by both the sounds of gunfire outside and the scratching of rats and roaches moving in the walls. When Caylin’s father was convicted of murder and his mother was sexually assaulted in the hospital while recovering from open-heart surgery, he was forced to enter adulthood prematurely. Embracing his mother’s steely faith in God and education, Caylin skirted the gangs and the endemic violence of Compton to excel on the football field and in the classroom.

Academics and athletics led to college scholarships, which led to a Fulbright and eventually the Rhodes Scholarship. Along the way, Caylin cofounded a student organization Strong Players Are Reaching Kids (S.P.A.R.K.), which brought college athletes into underserved classrooms as inspirational speakers, role models and mentors. They encouraged youth to pursue their education and ultimately become "sparks" of change in their own communities. One of their primary mottos is, "Speaking life into a dying situation." His eye-opening, inspirational story proves that, contrary to what others told him on his journey, there is no such thing as a dream too big. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Changing Your Mindset to Be the Best You Can

A Dream Too Big


Against All Odds

Speech Topics

A Dream Too Big: The Story of an Improbable Journey from Compton to Oxford

In this inspiring keynote, drawn from his acclaimed book A Dream Too Big: The Story of an Improbable Journey from Compton to Oxford, Caylin Moore shares his against-all-odds journey from the cruel poverty of gang-ridden Los Angeles to becoming a Rhodes Scholar attending Oxford University. Caylin’s story is one that could have led him to gangs and prison: a hungry child, kept awake at night by the sounds of gunfire and the scratching of rats and roaches. Instead, by holding onto hope and embracing his mother’s steely faith in education, he rose above his circumstances to reach the pinnacle of academic achievement as a Rhodes Scholar and future college professor. #1 New York Times Best-selling author Ron Hall called his book "an inspiring tale that should be mandatory reading for every student, parent, and anyone else interested in the success of those who will shape and define our future." Best-selling author Wes Moore said, “Caylin’s story is not just inspirational, it is instructional.” Caylin’s story proves that there is no such thing as a dream too big.

Finding My Way & Carving Out Meaning

The process of finding out what you want to do and who you want to be should be approached with care and guidance, not angst and pressure. This talk provides an alternative philosophy to finding your way, that centers around gainful experiences and exposure that lead to the pursuit of inspirations and passions. Caylin Moore discusses his winding path, his inspirations, and how they have led him to a fulfilling career choice as a future college professor. His curriculum examines journaling, goal setting, the outlining of values, exploration of ideas and goal review. This talk is ideal for high school and college students, and those that have a vested interest in these students “finding their way and carving out meaning.”

Dealing with Pressures to Succeed

Mental health experts find that the pressures for children to succeed are more intense and begin earlier than ever. Considering the ramifications of this perfectionistic culture, this is a perfect speech for students, as well as teachers and parents who are looking to relieve this devastating pressure. Caylin Moore, who was under incredible pressure to rise above poverty, opens up to discuss a healthy relationship between personal ambition and personal life, and focuses on the importance of our inspirations and reasoning behind pursuing our goals. He explores genuine self-development, as opposed to “trophy collection” and “resume building,” and provides tools and tips for self-care.

Navigating Higher Education as A Person of Color

Caylin Moore has developed a sharp awareness of how systemic inequalities can affect an underrepresented student’s ability to thrive from research and lived experience. As he explains how he found his sense of belonging as an African-American male student-athlete coming from inner-city poverty, he pushes back against the pressures of the “Be twice as good, expect half as much” narrative. In this talk, Caylin explains his process of eschewing “imposter syndrome” and explains how he responded to his multiple adversities in pursuit of his dream of helping his community. This speech is perfect for university organizations interested in decolonizing academic spaces, championing diversity and inclusion, and equipping students of color with tips, tools, and the inspiration to achieve.

The Collaboration Between Education & Community

Caylin present critical insights to the collaboration between educational institutions and community organizations, and how these forces can be a “saving grace” in a young person’s life. Drawing upon lived experience in inner-city Los Angeles and scholarly research, he provides a sobering and refreshing discussion into how both of these forces have the potential to interact and cultivate youth for the better. He also provides tips and tools for those that engage with youth who face daily challenges. This speech is perfect for community organizations and educational institutions who want to understand the efficacy of their work and how it can one day produce change-makers, lifesavers and even, Rhodes Scholars.

Dream Inequality: It’s Difficult to Dream Here

Drawing on his first book A Dream Too Big and his theory of “Dream Inequality” Caylin Moore illuminates some of the internal and external factors that limit dreaming for many youth in impoverished and adverse circumstances. It is difficult to envision one’s self as a success at most anything, if you have learned to expect incarceration or death at an early age. This talk will provide context, and expert tools and tips to anyone who has an opportunity to embolden youth to expand their vision of themselves and pursue their dreams.

Pathways Created Through Fellowship & Scholarships

Caylin Moore discusses the pathways created through fellowship and scholarships. His success in winning the Rhodes Scholarship, US-UK Fulbright, and other prestigious awards allows him to provide unique insights into the preparation, application and interview processes. Bridging the chasm between Compton and Oxford was no light feat. Like many students, especially those coming from underrepresented backgrounds, he had to first understand that he belonged and had to convince himself that he was more than worthy of applying. Caylin centers this talk on his process of self-belief, the changes he is inspired to see in the world, and tools and tips for success for those who are interested in these opportunities.