- Student Life
Story by Johno Jackson ‘20 (published in the SLUH Magazine)
Kameron Moses is a renaissance man. Through his passion for music, social justice and architecture, Moses has carved himself a unique position in the class of 2020 as a multifaceted leader uneasy to pin.
Moses attended Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School (VPA) before beginning at SLUH, where his love for music blossomed. Originally attending VPA to cultivate his passion for studio art, VPA provided a well rounded, arts focused education — and Moses flourished. It was there that his brother, CJ, first introduced the idea of potentially applying to SLUH. At the time, Moses had never heard of SLUH. No one he knew had attended — CJ was a Gateway High School graduate, and the world of Catholic high schools was to him a distant one. Still, his brother invited him to apply, and with a teacher’s help he did. Next thing he knew, he was staring down his freshman year in a place unfamiliar even by freshman standards.
It was then that tragedy struck the Moses household. In the summer of 2016, a fire destroyed their home in North City. In the fire, the family lost treasured belongings, including priceless photographs and family mementos. Their loss was heightened by the instability that followed. Kameron and his mom then began moving frequently, hunting for better housing. With few belongings and no permanent address, Moses began the early days of his high school experience.
He couldn’t help but feel misplaced at school, too. He was a black student surrounded by mostly white peers for the first time, studying a religion that wasn’t his, and taking classes unlike those offered at VPA. Courses at SLUH were far more rigorous and time consuming than he was used to. Unlike his peers, his priorities seemed to be elsewhere. He was navigating bigger, more jarring transitions behind the scenes than in his academic life. He fell into SLUH at a time when he not only didn’t know what to expect out of high school itself, but also of his life over the next few years. He leaned on his counselor, Mrs. Nina See, and Campus Ministry.
“When I first came to SLUH, the teachers were very welcoming to me while I talked to them,” said Moses. “I found new spaces to clear my mind like in Campus Ministry or in Mrs. See’s office.”
Moses found community in the Association for Cultural Enrichment at SLUH (ACES), where he began to foster a passion for social justice. To Moses, the framework was always there. Before understanding the framework of justice in the context of faith, the Jesuits and Catholicism, the same values had governed his upbringing and personal philosophy. He plugged in to SLUH's social justice scene with relative ease, joining peers in discussions he found meaningful and, often, personal. Meetings with ACES, the Black Student Union, and the Student-Teacher Alliance for Racial Studies (STARS) became staples of his day-to-day SLUH experience throughout his four years.
“SLUH gave me a platform to express my passion for social justice, giving me several avenues to enhance my skill for action,” said Moses. “SLUH has helped me realize my reality — both good and bad — while also showing me how to guide my conscience.”
He joined the delegation attending the Arrupe Leaders Summit his freshman year, and the Bay area-based conference nurtured a forceful passion for the issues he had spent time at SLUH learning about. It was also his inaugural plane ride and West Coast adventure. Moses went on to also attend the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, a conference of Jesuit schools in Washington, D.C. centered around justice and public advocacy, three times. After taking his passion beyond St. Louis, he brought back more enthusiasm to the SLUH community. That enthusiasm registered in activities like Youth Leadership St. Louis, the hand-picked group of juniors that explore and study inequality in St. Louis and in their school with students from other area high schools.
At the end of freshman year, Moses found a way to try to plug himself in on a broader scale: he ran for the sophomore class presidency. His candidacy focused on unity of the class as well as his position to better represent students of color on STUCO. Aided by a boisterous and unapologetic personality, by the end of the highly contested election cycle, he emerged victorious, and went on to be class co-president. His STUCO tenure offered a chance to engage his whole class, as well as SLUH, from the student body in-group — a stark contrast to where he had been as he began his SLUH career.
Outside of the classroom, Moses continues to entertain himself through music, writing songs and posting them to the online streaming service SoundCloud. With the help of a classmate who creates his beats, Moses produces raps. His lyrics tell the story of his own life, and songwriting offers a calming outlet from the often chaotic stresses of daily life. His most recent project is putting a debut album together. His freestyle ability rivals that of anyone in his class.
Beyond SLUH, Moses hopes to study architecture, a field he sees as a gateway to helping underserved communities experience the beauty, functionality and comfort of good design — qualities Moses feels were lacking in the community he grew up in.
“I hope that my future job can be intertwined into everything in my life like God. I hope to renovate my community and give the resources to my neighborhood that they desperately need and deserve,” said Moses.
Still in touch with his artistic vision found at VPA, and armed with a dedication to doing justice, Moses seeks to merge his passions into a lifelong vocation.
Johno Jackson ’20 is editor-in-chief of Prep News, a Senior Advisor, member of the YMCA Youth and Government program, and co-president of Ongoing Conversations (gender identity and Catholic social teaching student group). He has participated in a cross section of social justice activities, such as the Ignatian Family Teach-In in D.C., the Kino Border Initiative spring break trip, and the Association for Cultural Enrichment at SLUH (ACES). Johno enjoys Social Studies and English classes, and may study “something in that realm” in college.