Robert Moran was Destined to be a Helper
On September 11, 2001, only 33 miles away from ground zero, across the Hudson River, Class of 2020 graduate Robert Moran’s life began. In the beginning, being born on September 11th didn’t hold much meaning for his life. His parents did not tell him about the events that happened that day until a time when he would be able to understand the depth and enormity of the tragedy. It was during this time that his mother showed him Mr. Roger's video testimonial in which he addressed the events of that day. “Look for the helpers,” Mr. Rogers said. “You will always find people who are helping.” Throughout his childhood, his mother would comfort him with these words any time he would see scary things in the news. To this day, especially in times of disaster, he can remember the words his mother taught him. Ever since, his life’s ambition has been to become one of those “helpers.” Robert will fulfill this dream as he starts his journey studying criminology at the College of New Jersey this fall.
“I want to continue my goal to be a "helper" in the midst of chaos by entering law enforcement,” Robert said. “As I go through life, I want to inspire others to dream, to learn, and become the best they can be. If you look for the "helpers" you will know there is hope. Chaos was not the only thing born on September 11th; hope was born as well. It lives within this September 11th baby.
Sometimes I wonder if this call to service was due to nature or nurture. I come from a family that was pre-wired for service. My grandfather enlisted in the Navy at age seventeen. My uncle served in the Vietnam War. My father knew he wanted to be a police officer from the age of seven but had to serve his country in the Army before becoming a police officer. Or perhaps my desire to serve was learned from my family who love this country and are incredibly patriotic. Either way, I knew in my heart that I wanted to serve my community and my country.”
One of Robert’s biggest role models for the path he has chosen is his father. He was a police officer in the Bronx, NY and is now retired after sustaining an injury in the line of duty. He will follow in his father’s footsteps by serving and protecting the people of his community. In addition to policing, Robert has taken an interest in opportunities with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Regardless of where his path in law enforcement leads, he knows he will be helping people in a positive way.
During his time at Randolph High School, baseball was a huge part of his life. He started playing the sport when he was just 6 years old. Recently, Robert got to play in his final game with Randolph during the “Last Dance” tournament, which was organized to give the class of 2020 seniors one last chance to play with their teammates. At RHS, he was also chosen to be a Tomorrow’s Leader and a member of National Honor Society.
Along with baseball and his other activities, he is a proud Eagle Scout from Troop 50 in Randolph. “Scouting has given me so many opportunities to learn and gain leadership skills,” Robert said. “During my summers in high school, I would serve on the staff for the National Youth Leadership Training Conference and teach Scouts leadership skills such as how to communicate well, set goals, and make ethical decisions. Receiving my Eagle Scout award in October of 2018 is by far my greatest accomplishment. I put in so many hours of hard work and service to reach the rank of Eagle. I earned 31 merit badges, which is 10 more than what was required to receive Eagle." For his Eagle Project, which took over 190 hours to complete, he built and installed equipment racks in the dugouts at Freedom Park. He also repainted the dugouts.
Robert will remember many classes and people from his experiences in Randolph. However, his teacher Mr. Matyas had a particularly lasting impact on his life. “Mr. Matyas and I had a special relationship that goes outside the classroom,” Robert said. “When Mr. Matyas first came to the school, I had him as my Criminal Law teacher and we instantly hit it off through our love for baseball and football. The following year I didn’t have him as a teacher but better yet, as my pitching coach on the Varsity Baseball team. In my senior year, he was my teacher yet again for Holocaust and Genocide. He was someone I could always count on.”
As Robert starts this next journey of his life, he hopes that future students will be inspired to be themselves. “High School is a time to learn. Learn in school, learn about life, and learn things about yourself,” Robert said. “Something I learned in high school is that you should simply be yourself. Wearing a mask, not one that helps prevent COVID-19, can get tiring at times and no one will like you for who you really are. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be proud of who you are and embrace your uniqueness in the best way possible.” In addition, Robert shared his favorite quote from the movie Rocky. "But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!”
Congratulations Robert and good luck as you start your next chapter at the College of New Jersey.