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From Thailand refugee camp to Apollo grad, Moo thankful for Eagle family; AHS graduates 325 Friday night

May 21, 2022 | 12:11 am

Updated May 20, 2022 | 11:33 pm

Photo by Ryan Richardson

Elbert Moo spent his childhood in a refugee camp with his family in Thailand, but his family eventually settled in Owensboro. Once a shy person, Moo said his time at Apollo High School helped him step out of his comfort zone. Now a graduate, he said he’s incredibly grateful for the friends and teachers that welcomed him to the Eagle family, adding that it was all part of God’s plan.

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Moo is one of 325 students who graduated from Apollo this year. The ceremony was held on their football field Friday night. 

Principal Rick Lasley said this group of students was offered over $4 million in scholarships. He also noted AHS has several students from diverse backgrounds who will attend college this fall and will be first-generation college students.

“Anything is possible when you learn to be patient, be kind and you adapt as you have these past two years,” Lasley said. “I wish you all the best as you move forward and make your lives extraordinary.”

Moo is no stranger to adapting his lifestyle. Though his family moved when he was young, Moo spent enough time in Thailand to remember having to make adjustments when they relocated to the United States.

“Growing up there, we didn’t have much but we had enough. We could provide for our family,” he said. “(We were like) most families that moved to America to find opportunities, education, better things to have.”

Moo’s family first moved to Minnesota for about 6 months when he was about 10 years old.

“My first time going to school, I was very shy and very nervous. Being different, I was not used to any of this, so I didn’t know what to say or to do,” Moss said. “I had teachers and friends who would help me and guide me along, and things went well.”

Moo’s family moved to Owensboro about 10 years ago. He said he remained a shy person for a long time, but during his time at Apollo, Moo grew into an outgoing person.

He credited the teachers who encouraged him to talk to everyone. Moo also joined the soccer team and met new friends along his high school journey.

“Throughout Apollo, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown out of my comfort zone where I’m more comfortable to talk to people, teachers, and friends,” he said. “What I will remember most is how kindly they welcomed me to be part of the Eagle family, and how kind teachers are that have helped me with things that I’m struggling with. I feel like I’m welcomed and accepted. It’s a very good feeling to have, and it’s wonderful to know how nice people are here at Apollo.”

Apollo also made a big impact on Moo’s future plans. He said he was initially unsure whether he should go to college or not. During his senior year, a few Apollo staff members helped Moo decide what to do. He plans to go to Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he’ll also play soccer.

“Even though I’m still undecided on what major to take, I’m glad that I was able to choose to go to college,” he said. “(Apollo) helped me so much on things that I did not know about how to get into college and.”

He also wants to pay the kindness forward. Moo may not know his specific career path, but he knows he wants to help others.

“I hope I can find something that I can do not only for myself, but I want to be able to take up something so that I can help others … like go back to my people with the things that I’ve learned and so that I may help them as well,” he said.

And through it all, Moo made a special note to thank God for all the opportunities and the help he’s received.

“All of this — everything from coming from Thailand to here — I just believe that it was all part of God’s plan and that he provided everything,” Moo said. “When I look back to it, I can just see how good He has been and how much He has provided for me and my family. Even though I was different, I was able to have friends who cared and teachers who are so kind. I’m very thankful that He has been good to me. And I’m very thankful for all the friends and teachers in school that have just treated me so well.”

May 21, 2022 | 12:11 am

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