FREE e-scribe now!

This week’s edition!

Bates College Student Aaliyah Moore wins Truman Scholarship

LEWISTON, ME (May 15, 2023) — Aaliyah Moore, a junior at Bates College and graduate of Central High in Phoenix, has won a prestigious Truman Scholarship. In announcing the award, Bates College said Moore will pursue graduate studies to build her skills in advocacy, research, and education, then tackle systematic disparities within the U.S. legal and foster-care systems.

Federally funded Truman Scholarships, which are awarded to students with demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service, are considered among the most important U.S. graduate fellowships.

Moore is one of 62 recipients of a Truman Scholarship from more than 700 applicants this year. The scholarships provide up to $30,000 for graduate study as well as leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and federal government internship opportunities.

“We have confidence that these 62 new Trumans will meet their generation’s challenges together,” said Dr. Terry Babcock-Lumish, the foundation’s executive secretary. “Selected from across America, the 2023 Truman Scholars reflect our country as innovative, purposeful, patriotic problem-solvers, never shying away from a challenge.”

Bates College President Clayton Spencer said she is thrilled for Moore. “I have worked with Aaliyah on several projects since her first year at Bates, and she has proven herself to be a leader, a problem-solver, and an exceptionally talented and determined student. Aaliyah is trustworthy and intuitive.”

Spencer added, “She brings a powerful mind, a strong sense of purpose, and great self-awareness to the tasks at hand, and her already-impressive commitment to public service is both deep and personal. The Truman Scholarship is a wonderful recognition for Aaliyah and a tribute to the many members of the Bates community who have worked with her here, and who look forward to cheering her on in this next chapter.”

Moore intends to pursue graduate degrees in both law and African American studies, with the intent to use her voice to challenge U.S. institutions that violate civil rights, including the rights of people in foster care and people who are incarcerated. “I hope to help the poor, incarcerated, and condemned, protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society,” Moore said.

Moore said that her “upbringing as an African American woman living in subsidized housing and foster care shaped my determination to use advocacy, scholarship, and education to combat systematic disparities within our legal and foster care systems. I want to address the lack of reintegration support for foster children and formerly incarcerated individuals and defend the wrongfully convicted from prison.”

She pointed to the “direct correlation” between youth leaving foster care and homelessness, sex trafficking, and incarceration rates. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 23,000 foster youth will exit the foster care system each year. Of those, 46 percent will be homeless and 70 percent will have been arrested at least once by age 26. “More alarmingly,” Moore said, “60 percent of the child sex-trafficking victims recovered in a 70-city FBI raid were children from foster care or group homes.”

Moore, a double major in politics and Africana who is currently in South Africa studying multiculturalism and human rights during a semester abroad, is an important and effective student leader at Bates and in the broader community. She has been extensively involved with the Lewiston-Auburn and Maine communities focusing on issues of social justice and, specifically, incarceration.

After Bates, Moore intends to pursue both J.D. and Ph.D. graduate degrees. For her Ph.D., she seeks a program in African American studies that offers the “opportunity to critically analyze the issues faced by African-descent people in the U.S.”

Through her legal studies, Moore hopes to gain the skill to “fight for the release of wrongly incarcerated persons, challenge institutions violating one’s civil rights through discriminatory practices, and become a pioneer in civil rights advocacy, scholarship, and teaching.”

In her Truman application, Moore was asked to look ahead past her graduate studies. Where does she see herself? The answer, Moore said, is written on the walls of her Bates College dorm room.

“I made my walls into vision boards. On one wall, there is a cluster of images depicting Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Ida B. Wells, Sojourner Truth, and others. In the middle, I intentionally left an empty space” – a place for her future self. Inspired by those forebears, Moore hopes to be similarly inspirational and influential – to be among thinkers and problem-solvers who “strive to expand our understanding of race, legal ethics, and systemic injustices.”

This year’s Truman Scholars were nominated by 275 colleges and universities, and in turn were recommended by 17 independent selection panels based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.


Located in Lewiston, Maine, Bates is internationally recognized as a leading liberal arts college, attracting 2,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world. Since 1855, Bates has been dedicated to educating the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. Committed to opportunity and excellence, Bates has always admitted students without regard to gender, race, religion, or national origin. Cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action, Bates prepares leaders sustained by a love of learning and zeal for responsible stewardship of the wider world.

Aaliyah Moore, member of the Bates College class of ’24 and the recipient of a 2023 Truman Scholarship, helps to recruit students to volunteer locally to support legal reform and social justice organizations during the 2022 Volunteer Fair, sponsored by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College). Photo courtesy of Aaliyah Moore/Bates.

Leave a Reply

Contact Us!

89 Union Street, Suite 1014
Auburn, ME 04210
(207) 795-5017