The Lesson of One and the Inspiration of Many

Senior Speaker Arel Moodie

The Lesson of One and the Inspiration of Many

On Dec. 18, 2018, Arel Moodie, an energetic motivational speaker, came to DMAE to tell his story and to offer advice to the Senior Class. Mr. Moodie gave students a view into the lowest point in his life, which happened to be during high school, and then he related how that circumstance fueled his future success.

To be honest, I was doubtful on how beneficial the presentation would be. However, he found a new way to engage the audience and it was nice of him to make the experience so personal,” senior Soubia Hasan stated.

Originally from the projects in Brooklyn, Mr. Moodie suffered from trauma growing up. He told seniors how he grew up around crime and drugs, and witnessed the killing of his best friend and the incarceration of another friend because of theft. Additionally, he was discriminated against and bullied because of his appearance — he was born to a Jewish mother and Jamaican father. Distraught and confused, he resolved to commit suicide by jumping from the roof of the projects to end his suffering and pain. However, he lost his nerve and, as he tells it, added another failure to his list. Ultimately though, his father along with a mentor, showed him another way of life and a road to success through education.  

“The moment my father took me to see a bigger world than my limited environment, I realized I could achieve … that I needed to succeed,”Mr. Moodie explained seriously.

Thus, Mr. Moodie went to college where he says his life began. While there, he found his lifelong mentor who helped to change his life, one suggestion at a time. Moodie shared with the DMAE seniors that in order to be successful, they must be able to do what most people won’t: ask questions even if they think they will be judged by others.

“Don’t feel like asking questions makes you stupid. The more questions you ask, the more opportunities you get,” Mr. Moodie explained with a smile for emphasis.

Today, Mr. Moodie is a well-known motivational speaker for TedxYouth. He is the epitome

of using one’s past as a lesson to prepare for the future and an example to high school students who feel as though they are struggling. His message: for students to know that they are not condemned to the circumstances that they were born into and that anything is possible with the mindset to get there.

“Every human is predestined to fail. The question is, Do we choose to rise above that failure?” he explained.

Mr. Moodie left the students at DMAE with the advice to be kind to each other, to help each other, and to ask questions at every stage of life.