Brandeis International Business School

Building a better world

Tristen Moore ’20 is redefining his career path after an internship introduced him to Brandeis’ social justice mission

Tristen Moore ’20 is tasked with building up a Boston police teen outreach program.

Tristen Moore ’20 is tasked with building up a Boston police teen outreach program.

Tristen Moore ’20 is building for the future.

The son of a New Jersey real estate developer, Moore is a business major at Brandeis University with plans to follow his father into the industry.

Over the past year, Moore has gained valuable real-world experience by interning with the Boston Police Teen Academy. The academy is an informal part of the Boston Police Department that runs outreach programs for at-risk teenagers in the city.

“The biggest thing I saw working with these teens is their self-esteem grew exponentially over the summer,” said Moore.

Moore was first introduced to academy organizers by Brandeis International Business School Prof. Gene Miller. Miller’s year-long Leadership Internships in Social Impact Organizations class immerses students in the Brandeisian mission of social justice by assigning them to internships as nonvoting board fellows with local nonprofit organizations.

“Most students have never seen the boardroom of a nonprofit,” said Miller. “This shows them the ins and outs of social innovation firsthand.”

Launched a decade ago, the Boston Police Teen Academy seeks to build up teens by exposing them to new ideas and experiences and stressing the importance of discipline, structure and self-worth. Academy programs include zip-line adventures and trips to local farms, the Massachusetts State House and area universities.

The academy has been the passion project of two Boston police officers. But one is now retired and the second will retire soon, leaving the program’s future in question.

As an intern at the academy, Moore has been tasked with building out a plan to ensure the program’s long-term sustainability. He’s formalizing internal processes, finding revenue, forming a board of directors and designing a website. And perhaps most importantly, he’s reaching out to mayors in other cities where the academy could be replicated.

“I know we could probably use this back in New Jersey,” said Moore.

Moore has also leveraged his Brandeis connections. This year, he partnered with the Brandeis Maker Lab to bring drones and 3-D printers to the academy.

The impact was noticeable and immediate. A handful of the teens stood out with a high aptitude in high-tech skills like coding, 3-D printing and drone piloting. Moore has since invitied several of them to the annual ’Deis Hacks 24-hour hackathon.

“One mother pulled me aside,” said Moore. “She said, ‘My son won’t stop talking about the drones and 3-D printers and he would love this hackathon. Please invite him. It will change his life.’”

Moore’s internship experience at the Boston Police Teen Academy has had a profound impact on him as well. He still wants to pursue a career in real estate development but is already brainstorming ways to add social justice into the mix.

After graduation, Moore said he wants to explore the emerging field of 3-D printed housing, a breakthrough in the making that could significantly lower the cost of residential building — and, by extension, help address vexing societal challenges like affordable housing and homelessness.

The technology for 3-D printed housing is in very early prototypes. Moore is just the man to help build it into the next big thing.