My name is Zach Moo Young and this is my personal website. I’ll mainly use it as a place to write, and also document some of the experiences I encounter.
If you don’t know me yet, you might be wondering, what are you? It’s ok. I get that a lot. I’m conducting an ongoing anecdotal study, so I’d be curious to hear how you first processed me racially.
Growing up, I moved around a lot, mainly throughout the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. All that moving allowed me different vantage points, which motivate me to make this world a more just and equitable one. A couple years ago I read a piece in the New York Times. They had collected data on the best and worst counties for children to grow up in and achieve upward mobility. According to the data they collected, going into my junior year of high school, I moved from the worst county for upward mobility for children, to the second best in the entire Greater Cincinnati area. Without this change, it’s likely I wouldn’t have gotten into the colleges I did, and my life would likely look much different by now. Just a short drive down the road resulted in such drastic differences in opportunity.
This vantage point must have had something to do with why I chose Oberlin College, the small, but notable, liberal arts college in Northeastern Ohio. I was introduced to Oberlin by the basketball coaches. At the time, my ego and drive wanted to play Division 1 ball, so I never would have thought I would end up playing D3 at Oberlin, let alone in another small town in Ohio. I visited on an all expenses paid trip provided by the Multicultural Visit Program (S/O to them), just to be sure I wouldn’t have any regrets if I went elsewhere. I was immediately hooked by the drive, passion, and intellect of the people I met, as the college sold me on their slogan “Think one person can change the world? So do we.”
Once there, I struggled. Even though I had moved to a more rigorous academic setting midway through high school, I was still underprepared relative to many of my peers whose educations to this point had already cost their families hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’m considered the first one in my family to graduate college, so there were a lot of little things I had to learn before I could be successful. After freshman year, I learned these little things. I was already very intellectually curious, so I’m grateful that I met a lot of friends and mentors that filled in those blanks. I majored in Psychology, but it’s not what you think! I can’t read your mind. They only trained me to digest academic papers, plan and execute research studies, and understand, analyze, and interpret data.
However, many of my interests and the questions that I seek answers to seem to relate more to Sociology. As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, I researched interactions between race, sport, and upward mobility. Sounds familiar, right? Through this project, I also began thinking more critically about who I was, what I wanted to do, and how I would get there.
I just graduated in May 2017. During my time at Oberlin College, I believe I was trained to be more effective in my pursuit to change the world for the better. I’m on a pursuit to empower myself and others along the way.
I hope we can connect in the future. I appreciate critical conversations, especially when we might have different opinions.
Hope to hear from you!