On a busy corner lot congested with truck traffic, the hammering of construction, and people walking to the nearby train station, neighbors began to notice something new developing. The reaction was captured on a Facebook group thread: Beautiful!!! Wow!! Love it!! Awesome!
The bright blues and purples, the signature WGU owl, Sage, and a portrait of an inspirational WGU alumnus were being painted on a 35 x 30 foot vacant wall by renowned Philadelphia muralist, Eric Okdeh. It was the second WGU Role Model Mural in a national series that places murals of WGU graduates in the neighborhoods where they grew up.
The honoree was Shayne Moore, vice president of information technology at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). Growing up, Shayne knew few people who went to college, but his mother pushed him and his brother to get a degree, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology from WGU’s College of IT.
“By persisting through challenges and helping so many others to do the same, Shayne exemplifies WGU’s values,” said Regional Vice President Rebecca L. Watts, Ph.D. “We’re thrilled to share this special moment with Shayne, his family, his friends, and the entire community. We hope the mural will inspire others to reach their full potential.”
Shayne has been ordained and has served as an assistant pastor for Trumpet of Zion Tabernacle for 16 years, and for 12 years has volunteered at Philadelphia prisons. He is co-director for H.O.P.E. Ministries, a group that volunteers in the Philadelphia Prison System, and is vice president for Aim For The Net, a program that mentors children while also providing sports as an alternative to the streets.
He said, “Though I have accomplished these things, I did not do any of it alone. There are countless others who helped to contribute, or whose story is like mine, so I take this time to applaud them as they too work to make a difference.” Shayne continued, “As I look at this mural, I do not see an individual, I see a community. When I look at this mural, I do not see me, I see us.”
Shayne remains a source of positive influence with his volunteer work throughout Philadelphia— not just by employing his giving spirit, but also by being a shining example of what’s possible when you work hard, believe in yourself, and follow your destiny.
Standing at the end of his boyhood block, you can now see the colorful mural and his inspirational portrait. It serves as a testament that education and community activism bring people together, lifting them up as one.