Published 8:37 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

Growing up in Detroit while Young Boys Incorporated (YBI) was recruiting children as couriers of heroin, Demetrius Moffett knows first hand the influence of others joining together to make a safer, better community.

“Growing up in Detroit, I came from a broken home,” Moffett said. “But my father was always there. We were not without financial challenge, but the community raised the children.”

Moffett, living through the era of the YBI agreeing to stop soliciting those under the age of 14 for criminal activities, he said he saw a harvest of potential when he first arrived to Orange in 2010.

“I made it out,” Moffett said. “I know it can happen and know how it can be. If it worked in a city of over two million people, it can work here.”

Becoming involved in the community from the moment he arrived has shown as he is involved with several organizations from serving as the current president of the Orange Branch of the NAACP, recently being named as President of the Tri County Rebuild SETX Long Term Recovery Executive Board, as well as being recognized as Texas State Board of Education District 7 as Hero for Children.

Moffett volunteered each week as part of the Build Great Readers Community Partnership at West Orange Stark Elementary School while working with students on reading skills, vocabulary, pronunciation and comprehension.

“I enjoy helping people,” Moffett said. “I want to see Orange prosper. When the community is strong, the city is strong.”

Moffett said his two mentors growing up were his father and grandfather.

“My dad was my focal point,” Moffett said. “My grandfather was also my mentor. They taught me the difference between being a male and being a man.”

He added that while his parents were divorced, his dad was always a part of his life.

“I never heard either parent say anything negative about the other,” Moffett added.

While those two men were involved in his life growing up, Moffett said there were other men in the community who also involved in the children’s lives in their area of expertise.

“My father worked on the assembly line at the plant,” Moffett said. “Other men, professionals, poured into the kids to protect us from going in the direction of violence.”

Moffett said he has heard many say ‘What we got to do…’

“First ,who is doing it?” Moffett asked. “Second, it takes a unified effort. Community takes care of communities.”

Moffett also served in the U.S. Navy.

He now resides in Orange with his wife, Tina.

The couple has been married for just over a year and a half.

He raised two daughters, now ages 30 and 34 as well as a niece, now 20.

He has two granddaughters, age 1 and 12.