Many Aiken Technical College students have gotten to know and admire Faith Moore over the last three years – the Faith who serves as Student Government Association president, who was named a All-Academic State Team scholar with 19 other students statewide and who led a campus-wide fitness program last semester.

They might not recognize the younger Faith, not the one who spent too much time in high school with boys and alcohol and weed. Now 30, Moore has long put that teenager aside.

“Now I’m driven and very passionate about what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s all about the dash – the dash between when I’m born and when I die.”

Moore managed to finish high school in 2000 and when Delta Airlines hired her soon after, that experience helped her begin the process of maturing.

Over the next few years, Moore had two children, now 6 and 4. Her husband, Eric Moore, is employed at Kimberly Clark in Beech Island. Faith currently spends 20 hours a week at State Farm on a work-study program.

Her parents, Eddie and Patricia Moyer, have been so special to her. Through her mother’s role as a teaching assistant when Faith was 5, she was inspired even then to become a teacher. Several years ago, she became the children’s church director where her father preached, the leadership opportunity brought back her interest in teacher.

By the time her daughter turned 1, Moore was ready to apply at ATC and knew she would never fall back to the young Faith in starting a project and not finishing.

She took that simple promise to herself and dashed far beyond it. Moore relished her classes and student government and the Alpha Xi Lamba chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, serving as its secretary.

She intends to move on to USC Aiken in the fall to get a bachelor’s degree in special education. Her decision to take that step emerged from her work for a child with autism at her church and her ongoing efforts to assist an uncle with cerebral palsy and cognitive issues.

Vinson Burdette, ATC’s dean of student development, described to the North Augusta Star his appreciation of Moore’s determination.

“I’ve seen her lead students and organize community-involvement initiatives,” Burnette said. “Faith is very concerned about others and committed to the well-being of others. She’s also an outstanding student.”

Last June, Moore and other SGA members decided to seek a community project. They found published articles that the obesity rate in South Carolina was at 63 percent. They established a program for students and those in the community, calling it “U-Knighted for Fitness,” using the ATC athletic mascot’s name.

Moore and her classmates collaborated with the nursing department, keeping statistic data on the participating students to let them observe the value of their efforts. Achieve Fitness in Aiken provided an instructor every week for a zumba program on campus. Three students won awards and prizes for losing weight and becoming more fit.

For their signature project, the SGA members visited Gloverville Elementary School to encourage the children to take care of their health. Bruce Capers, ATC’s men’s basketball coach and Student Life director, did tricks for the kids. The college students also led the children on a walk around the track.

“We captivated them,” Moore said, “involving the teachers and students and asking for their commitment to remain active.”

When she was selected for the All-Academic team last year, she found the honor unexpectedly moving.

“I started crying,” Moore said. “My self-confidence had been low. For me to be recognized like that was amazing. It made my parents proud of me.”