ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Championing Black Boys in Technology – Gerald Moore’s Mission to Bridge the Gap
Gerald Moore, the visionary leader behind Mission Fulfilled 2030, is on a mission to empower Black boys and young men with the skills and opportunities they need to excel in the technology sector and beyond. In a recent interview with the Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership, Moore sheds light on his journey, his organization’s impact, the challenges he faces in the nonprofit sector, and the pivotal way the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program helped mold the vision of his organization’s future.
Pursuing a Vision for Black Boys in Technology
Moore’s motivation to champion the cause of Black boys’ engagement in technology stems from his personal experience. He points out, “Reflecting on my background and the lack of opportunities that existed for me in my youth to access professional Black males, let alone Black men in the tech industry, is a driving force behind my work. Currently, Black men constitute less than 2% of the public-school workforce and less than 5% of the high-tech and STEM workforce.” Moore never had a Black male educator throughout his K-12 experience, and had he not attended a historically Black college or university (HBCU), it’s likely he would have never had one, given his initial pursuit of an engineering degree.
He explained, “The technology sector presents the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs. I don’t believe that our school systems are doing a great job of preparing young people for opportunities that exist in STEM fields. Young Black males are being told by middle school that they are bad math students, subsequently underscoring the message that they can’t participate in this technological revolution. Mission Fulfilled 2030 exists to create opportunities for young Black males through our programs:
- Youth Tech Entrepreneurs – Where we are teaching boys as early as 11 how to start their own tech companies.
- Certified BIPOC Boys Initiative – This program will help boys receive at least 1 nationally recognized tech certification, which will take many we serve out of poverty with one certification.”
Through the Youth Tech Entrepreneurs Program, Moore and his organization have served over 200 young men in the last 2 years. With a physical location in Rochester, he believes they will be able to impact 750-1,000 youth ages 8-24 per year across multiple programs.
When asked about the legacy he envisions and the lasting impact he hopes to forge through the creation of this transformative platform for change, Moore offered a heartfelt response. He reflected, “I genuinely believe that my organization is an embodiment of who I am as an individual. I’ve never had to stray from my authentic self to lead this mission, and that authenticity allows me to propel this cause in a way that no one else can. When the day comes for me to step aside, I envision a torch being passed to a young man who has walked the same path, who understands the challenges he’s overcome and the shared experiences of the young men around him. Through Mission Fulfilled, we’ve cultivated a tight-knit family that extends into communities, where we’re sowing the seeds of familial bonds. I aspire to look back and say, ‘We’ve built something that cultivates strong families and communities.’ While the prospect of a Mission Fulfilled alumnus founding the next tech giant, like Elon Musk, is exciting, it’s essential to remember that our identity as Mission Fulfilled 2030 is deeply rooted in community and family.”
Moore goes on to reflect, “While our journey truly gained momentum in 2020. However, ‘Mission Fulfilled 2030’ isn’t just a future vision, it’s already a mission accomplished. By the time 2030 arrives, the work will have long been done. Hence, the ‘Mission Fulfilled 2030’ we’re tirelessly pursuing today.
Navigating Nonprofit Sector Challenges
While Moore’s journey has been inspiring, he acknowledges the challenges he has faced in the nonprofit sector. “Funding has been the biggest challenge. We are doing awesome work, but there are barriers to getting access to the resources to grow. For small nonprofits, especially those that are minority-led, there seems to be a lack of trust for funding. Overall, the data shows that Black and minority-led nonprofits receive 1% of all philanthropic dollars. Moore recounted an experience where he experienced a lack of trust. “I was up for a grant for $10,000, and they loved the program, and its merits were well documented in what I was presenting. Yet they kept asking me for more and more documentation, which I presented. Finally, they asked for full external CPA audited financials, which to have that audit costs more than the $10,000 they were offering.”
The Certificate Program and Career Growth
Gerald credits the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program with significantly shaping the foundation of his nonprofit career. Given his extensive background in management consulting, the program validated his nonprofit endeavors. Beyond the academic aspect, Moore underscores the importance of the relationships he formed during the program, which provided him with invaluable knowledge and support. He stated, “This Certificate program has 100% helped in my career, considering I did not have a background in the nonprofit sector as I have had a 20-year-plus career in the management consulting sector. The Certificate has validated everything that I have learned while building Mission Fulfilled 2030. Also, the people in the program have poured into me tremendously, and the value of the knowledge of those I met in the program has been amazing. As a nonprofit leader, I definitely feel more confident and have the tools that I believe will help the organization become a major player in the Black Male Achievement sector.”
For those considering participating in the Certificate Program, Moore offers a crucial piece of advice, “Know your ‘Why’. I knew exactly what I was after when I applied for the program. Therefore, during each session of the program, I could ask the right questions, connect with the right people, and select the right capstone project that was going to expand and deepen my learning.”
Gerald Moore’s journey and his work with Mission Fulfilled 2030 are not only changing the lives of young Black males but also reshaping the nonprofit sector to be more inclusive and supportive of underrepresented communities. His dedication, personal experiences, and vision continue to inspire those who cross his path.