It seems one of the best things we can do for our communities is give back.
What do we know, what can we offer and how far are we willing to go to implement change?
Moses Tut is willing to do whatever it takes, but he’s done well to concentrate his valiant efforts on a specific demographic — his own generation — and on a specific cause:
He wants to help millennials find a job.
We all know this effort isn’t new, but it is authentic, and it’s working.
Building personal relationships
Last year, Moses began Conscious Youth Solutions, a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged youth in Sioux Falls begin their professional careers. As kids transition from school to the workforce, CYS is there to provide resources, support and guidance so students can be prepared and fully aware of all the entry level jobs and internship opportunities that are out there.
Because here in Sioux Falls, there is a lot out there.
So CYS breaks it down and takes the time to have a conversation with anyone who comes in. What are your interests? What are your passions? What are you good at? What are your aspirations? To Moses, it’s important to make it personal and help them develop their professional skills before entering the real world.
“There are career counselors out there, but kids get discouraged,” Moses says. “We want to make that interaction a little less formal and just talk it through and figure out where they need connections most.
“It’s about getting to know them and recognizing that all professional paths are different. Be more attentive to their passions, not just needing a paycheck.”
Moses and his team at CYS believe that building a relationship like this not only empowers students to see themselves in a professional setting, but that emotional support is good for Sioux Falls, too.
“It’s humbling to get a chance to talk to individuals and possibly better their situation,” Moses says. “If we can be that change, it makes them better, and it makes the community better!”
How it began
Moses is 22 years old, so you could say he’s at an advantage that’s he a millennial serving his own generation. But he’s paid his dues.
Moses and his family first came to the United States when he was 6 years old, “running away from war-torn country” of South Sudan. They were in Texas for a bit then moved to Minnesota and lastly settled in Storm Lake, Iowa. He graduated from high school there and moved to Sioux Falls to run track and play spring baseball for Augustana University.
Because his family couldn’t help him afford college, “sports or education was the biggest thing our parents preached to us.”
That, and a huge respect for family.
“My dad is a pastor, so we grew up as a very religious family,” Moses says. “Went to both Caucasian and Sudanese services on Sundays. It was just my family’s lifestyle and philosophy.
“My whole life, they really instilled in me just being a good person and treating people the way you want to be treated, giving back and doing good deeds to others.”
His mom passed away in 2011, and a lot of this work is for her.
“My biggest motivation is my family,” Moses says. “The situation that we grew up in taught us a lot about persistence and determination and just appreciating what we have, appreciating the non-materialistic things — family, bonding, culture, trying to progress and better each other.”
It’s with that foundation that he came to Sioux Falls, keen and ready to begin his adult life.
Ready to change the world.
After participating in sports at Augustana, Moses and two of his friends decided to begin their own urban clothing line, called Ambitious Legendary Movement.
It was then that the entrepreneur in him was born. He learned the business side of life that way, traveling around the region to sell his clothing at different concerts or online, meeting with manufacturers and scheduling speaking engagements.
He learned how to grind, and he did it well.
“ALM really taught me the experiential side of business and just how to get through it,” Moses says. “I was just soaking up as much as I could.”
He shakes his head as if even he doesn’t know how it all came to be, but with his fearlessness and ambition, he doesn’t need a reason.
He’s ready to move on to the next thing with one thought in mind: How else can I make a difference?
‘I can be a positive change’
All to raise up, support and empower at-risk youth in our community.
“I can be a positive change in their life!” he says.
More than they know.
CYS is looking forward to growth this year, developing a permanent workspace and planning to build an entrepreneur program. Moses would also like to see CYS chapters outside of Sioux Falls someday.
For now, he’s intent on developing an even broader database than the connections they have already.
“Our biggest strength right now is how many people we know,” Moses says. “With over 100 professionals, we can build up that database and make it useful to the youth here.”
He wants to create a categorized video series that would include interviews with myriad business owners in town, giving their clients a visual of how many opportunities there are here.
“Anyone could then go onto our website, and see our network,” he says.
A network that will grow with every day Moses and his team at Conscious Youth Solutions are out there. Giving back to a community that supports them.
“The more connections we can provide between millennials and employers, the more we can help youth improve their life.”
It’s just as he would’ve wanted, coming to Sioux Falls not so long ago, looking to find the right fit.
I think he found it, and he hopes you do, too.