First Year Experience
61 Sever Street
Worcester, Ma 01609
By Wes Moore
As you prepare for your first semester at Becker, we would like to challenge you to improve your reading skills. Reading-like any sport, talent, passion, or skill you are trying to perfect–requires practice. The more you read, the better skill set you can develop and the better prepared you will be for the rigor of college writing.
Every first year student will be required to read The Other Wes Moore prior to the start of the fall semester. There will be a quiz on the themes of the book and extensive discussion in your First Year Experience course. Discussions surrounding the book will also be held during New Student Orientation when you come to campus in the fall, as well as an assignment in your English Composition course. As a result, it is crucial to read the book before coming to Becker in August.
You will receive a free copy of the book during summer orientation. This is your copy, so feel free to make notes and mark up the book as you identify important themes, quotes, and discussion topics in the book. Please bring the book with you when you come to your English and First Year Experience courses this fall.
Two kids with the same name, living in the same city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.
In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore.
Wes just couldn’t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?
That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that has lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they’d hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices and the people in their lives would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.
Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a challenging and at times, hostile world.
More information about the book, including an interview with the author, can be found at theotherwesmoore.com.
For more information, please contact:
Director of First Year Experience