Lauderdale County man achieves goal, earns degree
COLLEGE EDUCATED Allen Moore's dream of obtaining a college education came true last month when he received a bachelor's degree in computer information systems from the University of West Alabama. Allen was paralyzed from the neck down while playing high school football in 1989.Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
June 29, 2003
Allen Moore's life changed forever one hot, muggy, early-fall night in September 1989.
Allen, then 17, was playing defense for the Northeast Lauderdale High School Trojan football team in a game against South Leake High School in the Walnut Grove community.
Everything was normal until the hit, the moment when Allen tackled a South Leake player, fell to the ground and then couldn't stand up. He had snapped his neck and was paralyzed.
The injury, however, landed him in a hospital and took him out of school. A year later he returned to high school and, despite his disability, he graduated from Northeast in 1993.
Now, 10 years later, Allen achieved another milestone: He recently graduated from the University of West Alabama, earning a bachelor's degree in computer information systems.
When asked how his life has changed since the accident, Allen looked puzzled and said, "Changed? Not much. I don't get around as easily, but I still get around."
Allen still loves the one thing he can no longer play football.
Tack Moore said he, too, is proud of Allen's accomplishments. Tack, who is not related to Allen, coached Allen in football at Northeast; Tack has since retired from coaching.
Coach Moore said he is glad Allen "never quit. You have to learn something about life from it."
Coach Moore recently moved back to Meridian after living out of state. He visited Allen at his home right after graduation in May and congratulated him.
Essie Moore, Allen's mom, and Jackie Bartee, Allen's older sister, accompanied him to classes at UWA. They also went with him to Meridian Community College while he was working on his associate's degree before he attended UWA.
When asked if it's she that Allen gets his go-and-do spirit from, Essie said, "No, it's vice versa. I get my spirit from him." Allen's dad is deceased.
Allen's plans for the future include finding a job working with computers and possibly returning to school to earn his master's degree.
Allen had this to say to anyone who wants to give up on life: "Anything is possible."