The Rapides Foundation will feature acclaimed author Wes Moore as the speaker at its fourth annual Symposium to be held Sept. 6 at the Alexandria Riverfront Center from 3:30-5 p.m. The Foundation presents the Symposium free of charge to the community as a way to gather around a topic of importance, and is a way to recognize the creation of The Rapides Foundation on Sept. 1, 1994.
The focus of the 2017 Symposium is “Transforming Communities” and Moore’s presentation will describe the transformative power of education and leadership and its impact on improving communities.
“Wes Moore is one of the most impressive speakers I’ve ever heard,” said Joe Rosier, president and CEO of The Rapides Foundation, “You really don’t want his presentation to end. He faced many challenges and had a difficult journey as a young person, but through family support, education and engaged mentors he became a Rhodes Scholar, decorated Army combat veteran, White House Fellow, and best-selling author, just to name a few of his accomplishments.”
Moore will share his personal story of overcoming adversity through education, embracing personal responsibility, and emerging as an inspirational leader. Through unforgettable storytelling, he inspires his audiences to see solutions instead of problems, overcome challenges, reach higher, lift up others, and find the power and purpose to achieve any goal.
“We hope as many people as possible from throughout Central Louisiana can attend, especially our civic, elected and faith-based leaders,” Rosier continued. “Anyone who has a concern about how to build up or make our communities better will have a great opportunity to hear a compelling message. Whatever your interest is, we believe you’ll find Wes Moore’s presentation to be very challenging and encouraging.”
The Symposium is free and open to the entire Central Louisiana community, but registration is needed. There are three convenient ways to register: by calling the Foundation at 318-443-3394 or 800-994-3394; registering on our website at http://www.rapidesfoundation.org; or emailing the Foundation at Events@rapidesfoundation.org.
Moore is the author of two best-selling books. His first book, “The Other Wes Moore” has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list seven straight years. A planned motion picture from Executive Producer Oprah Winfrey is based on the book, which tells the story of how educational opportunities, strong parental influence, mentors and a community support network helped Moore transcend the fate of a man with the same name who lived just blocks away and took a tragically different path to prison. Moore’s most recent book, “The Work,” debuted at No. 15.
He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Robin Hood Foundation, one of the nation’s largest foundations with a sole focus on alleviating poverty. He is also the founder of BridgeEDU, an organization that provides support to students as they navigate to higher education. He is a decorated combat veteran and officer who served in the elite 82nd Airborne division of the Unites States Army. His military service inspired him to become a passionate voice for veterans, serving as executive producer and host of Coming Back with Wes Moore, a PBS miniseries about the challenges facing returning Iraq and Afghanistan vets. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy and the Johns Hopkins University. He was selected as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a MLitt in International Relations and Affairs at Oxford University.
The mission of The Rapides Foundation is to improve health status in Central Louisiana, and over its 23-year history has sought to support that mission by developing initiatives and strategies intended to impact our community for decades to come. The Foundation focuses its works in three strategic areas: Healthy People, Education and Healthy Communities. Since the Foundation’s inception in 1994, it has disbursed more than $200 million in grants. The Rapides Foundation serves a nine-parish area in Central Louisiana: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn.