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Ty'Reona Moore

I Wasn’t Born Here, But It’s Home

By Barry Engelhardt

“You get a lot of opportunities here in Meridian.”

Looking ahead, Meridian High School freshman Ty’Reona Moore proudly shares that she’s a member of the graduating Class of 2027. She plans to pursue a career in nursing and anticipates leaning on Meridian’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program to help her bridge the gap from piqued interest to a foundational understanding of what it means to be a nursing assistant. While still unsure if she wants to live at home and attend Southern Illinois University - Carbondale or go away to college, she plans to earn a doctorate in nursing.

As someone who prides herself on hard work and maintaining a solid grade point average, she’s excited to proactively learn about the healthcare industry before she enrolls in college, using the program as a try-before-you-buy experience. “My favorite thing is that you get a lot of opportunities here in Meridian,” says Ty’Reona.

While Ty’Reona is working hard to maintain a straight A grade point average, she admits that her priorities have recently shifted. “When I was in eighth grade, I was a good kid, but wasn’t keeping up with my work. Now I have A’s. I can say I’m a better person than I was in eighth grade,” shares Ty’Reona with obvious pride.

A well-rounded student, Ty’Reona’s favorite classes are math and social studies. She enjoys time at home, studying, and talking on the phone with her friends. Ty’Reona shares that she moved from Cairo to Meridian during the summer between third and fourth grade. While she admits it took her a while to adjust, she soon settled in and appreciated spending time with family, most of whom live in the area. She pridefully adds that her mother, whom she greatly admires, is a proud Meridian graduate.

“My mom can be tough on me; it’s tough love. But I can talk to her. Some people can’t go to their parents and talk to them like I can. I can go to my mom and talk to her. She wants me to keep up with my grades,” says Ty’Reona, the oldest of four siblings. “They look up to me, so I’ve got to do my best.”

When not in class or spending time with her family, Ty’Reona is also a cheerleader and sprinter on the track team. She tried softball but decided it wasn’t for her, though she loves volleyball. She recently traveled to the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for a basketball game against Cairo. While not without frustrations — the cheerleader’s bus temporarily broke down to add to the adventure — she describes the experience as ‘very cool.’ Not only did Meridian dominate the game, winning by forty points, but she also saw several old friends from when she lived in Cairo.

Ultimately, while she wasn’t born in Meridian, she considers it her home. “I’m happy here. I have my friends. I have teachers who care about me, want me to get my grades up, and care about where I want to be. I have a great mom and lots of people at home who care about me here,” concludes Ty’Reona with a knowing smile.

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