Mighty Moe sets sights high

Keke Collins bio | email

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - On the football field Pinewood Prep senior running back Moses Richardson goes by the nickname Mighty Moe.

"I guess (it is) because I'm so small but on the field I don't play like I'm a small person," said Richardson.

Moses grew up in an area of North Charleston known for crime.

During Moses' sixth grade year at Pepperhill Elementary, his teacher told him something he had never heard before.

"We had a sit down meeting with me, the principal, his mother, and he said you're not treating me like the other kids, and I said, ' I'm not,'" recalled former Pepperhill Elementary teacher Anthony Russo.  "I said, 'Moses you're going to college, these other kids are not. Has anyone ever told you you're going to college?' He said, 'No.'"

Moses passed an IQ test and secured financial aid to attend Summerville's elite private school Pinewood Prep, where he began seventh grade.

"He will do just like I tell him to do, homework. I didn't have to tell him because I could see he wanted something out of life," said Moses' mom, Mary Jo Richardson.

"Coming to Pinewood I actually had to work a lot harder. Nothing comes easy here," said Moses. "I'm a slow reader, slow typer, but I've always just had that drive to get my school work done."

During Moses' first year at Pinewood Prep, Mary Jo struggled to get her son transportation from their home in North Charleston to the school located thirty minutes away.

Pinewood teacher Chuck Stjern, who lived in Mount Pleasant, offered to pick Moses up on his way to work in the mornings.

That pledge turned into several years of rides for Moses.

"We've got this sort of joke that he owes me about 20,000 miles of rides,  and if I were stuck 10,000 miles away I know that he would come and get me," said Stjern.

Moses will graduate this May, and has proven to be a star on the football field and in the classroom.

He bags groceries at a Summerville Publix to save money for college.

In April Moses will find out if he has been accepted to the Ivy League College Dartmouth.

"The sky is the limit it seems. I have that opportunity to be whatever I want to be," said Moses.

"To think that I could help someone along like that, even though I'm not teaching anymore, it makes me feel good, it's amazing. It sends shivers up my spine," said Russo.

Moses will be the first of his two brothers to attend college.

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