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No Time like the Present

Posted by on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 in Peabody People, Summer 2014.

Rachel Moser discovered her passion for service while studying at Peabody. She went on to serve in a school in Tanzania, and in her hometown of New York City (pictured) where she works with at-risk youth. Her non-profit organization, The Uplifting Project, is serving needy schools in Africa. (Photo by Elena Olivo)

When Rachel Moser chose to double major in child studies and cognitive studies at Peabody, she didn’t yet see the path of service that would unfurl before her, but she felt confident she was moving in the right direction.

“It just kind of hit me, ‘If you feel so passionately about this, why wait?’”

—Rachel Moser

She was right. After Peabody, Moser returned to her home in New York City and enrolled at New York University to pursue a master’s degree in social work. During that time, she spent a summer working at a one-room school in Tanzania.

“There were about 35 children, ages 2 to 7, who came without pencils and paper, sometimes without shoes,” she said, “but they always had an uplifting and positive attitude. Seeing the juxtaposition of poverty with a love of learning and sheer happiness—it really affected me.”

After she finished her master’s and earned her clinical license to practice social work, Moser began her search for a job.

“I always thought when I was older I would start some kind of organization to help people, and then it just kind of hit me, ‘If you feel so passionately about this, why wait?’”

Moser (far right) with school children in Tanzania (provided by Moser)

Moser created The Uplifting Project, a volunteer-run nonprofit organization devoted to empowering people by providing educational resources to impoverished regions of the world. Her fundraising efforts have paid off in remarkable ways. A social media partnership with Cultivate Wines raised $10,600 for The Uplifting project in just a few weeks.

“With social media, the world is smaller, everything is more tangible,” Moser said. “Thanks to our generous partners, The Uplifting Project is helping to build self-sustaining schools that are run by local people.”

Moser also works full time at a nonprofit youth center in the south Bronx. She serves at-risk 16- to 24-year-olds in need of mentorship, educational services and employment guidance.

“I have been able to put into action what I have learned and experienced, and as a result, my life has been very rewarding and fulfilling,” she said. “I’m fortunate that I’ve found my purpose, and that I’ve had such supportive friends and family along the way.”

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