Black History Month – The Wesleyan Way: Darayon Moore ’21

James Rogers, a Kentucky-born, long-time Las Vegas resident, is leaving a legacy through the generosity of the Rogers Foundation. From 2016 through 2023, the Rogers Foundation has helped nearly 100 Las Vegas students attend Kentucky Wesleyan through the KWC Rogers’ Fellow Scholarship. The scholarship covered full tuition, room, board and textbooks, and is renewable for four years. Darayon Moore ’21 knows the benefits of the Rogers’ Fellow Scholarship first-hand; she received the scholarship from to 2016-2021, when she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. 

Darayon was born and raised in Las Vegas and attended the Andre Agassi Prep Academy (now known as Democracy Prep Academy), where she graduated as valedictorian in 2016. With encouragement from her advisor, she applied for the Rogers’ Fellow Scholarship and was invited to visit KWC for an interview. “Everyone was very welcoming during the interview process,” said Darayon. “I knew nothing about Kentucky but fell in love very quickly.” Darayon was offered a Rogers’ Fellow Scholarship and eagerly accepted her spot in the second class of Fellows.  

“I’m so proud I was offered this Fellows Scholarship,” shared Darayon. “We left a presence at KWC. It was culture shock going from Vegas to Owensboro, but I loved it and grew so much. I called my mom a couple of weeks into my first year and told her I’m not going to make it – the McDonalds is not open 24 hours and everything is closed on Sundays – it was so different from Vegas.” Although it took some time to get settled, Darayon shared that the KWC community helped her find her way. “I found my group of friends that I could count on to help me, and the faculty and staff made sure that students were comfortable. And they taught us about Kentucky. I never imagined myself being in Kentucky – I could not even point to Kentucky on the map, but I’m so thankful I attended Wesleyan and experienced so much of the state – it’s just beautiful.” 

While at Wesleyan, Darayon’s study abroad experience opened her eyes to a world of possibilities. Through a partnership with Western Kentucky University, she studied in Africa, where she volunteered at an HIV clinic. “That was the turning point in my life when I realized I wanted to go into medicine,” she said. Following her graduation from KWC in 2021, Darayon was accepted to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine at the Bowling Green campus. She is currently completing her clinical rotations and has an interest in anesthesiology. She shared that her KWC education, especially the foundational science courses, prepared her well for medical school. 

Darayon credits her grandmother for teaching her about the importance of education at a young age. “My grandmother has a master’s degree in education and she had me reading at an early age – she also taught me about African American history. By second grade I could teach some of the topics we were studying!” Darayon also shared that a number of powerful African American teachers saw potential in her throughout middle school and high school. “They wanted me to be great,” she said. “They challenged me to go places I never even knew I was capable of. Kim Lindsey-Hooker taught me what it means to be a Black woman in higher education. Mr. Herbie Walker helped me with everything for college from the application process to scholarships.”  

As an African American college student, Darayon shared that she had a wonderful experience at Wesleyan. “KWC helped me become more independent. I could not just ‘go home’ to Vegas on the weekends so I had to learn to adapt – this helped me become who I am today.” She encourages current students to keep their options open and enjoy all that Wesleyan has to offer. “I tried a lot of things at Wesleyan that I had never experienced. I watched my first soccer game, went to baseball games, attended trivia nights – there is so much that the school has to offer that helps us to feel like part of the community.” 

Darayon’s decision to immerse herself in the KWC community enabled her to develop meaningful relationships with a number of KWC staff and faculty, including Scott Kramer ’87 and Matt Ruark ’09, who led students on a trip to Florida to volunteer at Give Kids the World. Give Kids the World is a resort in central Florida that provides cost-free vacations to critically ill children and their families. “That trip was life-changing for me. It showed me the importance of values and serving others.” 

When asked about her favorite spot on campus, Darayon shared, “When my friends could not find me, they knew I was in the library. “I spent hours there. We also hung out in Massie Hall and at the baseball games. I loved my time at KWC.” 

 Written by Dr. Jackie Fischer ’89

#BlackHistoryMonth #TheWesleyanWay