Dominic Moore

Nineteen year-old Dominic shares a unique relationship with Southside Rides founder, Dave Moore. Not only is Dominic one of Moore’s students in the program, but he is also his youngest son. Unlike the childhood stories of many of the other young men in program, Dominic did not grow up in a single-parent, lower income home. “I had a happy childhood, because I got everything I wanted,” Dominic explains, “the money, the clothes, the shoes…I had it all.” Dominic candidly reveals he was unaware of his father’s heavy involvement in the drug world, because his father kept it hidden from their family so well. “I was too young at the time to understand, and besides, he would keep that part of his life separate from life at home,” Dominic shares.

However, Dominic’s life took a drastic turn following the incarceration of his father. “I felt sad, because my dad wasn’t there anymore,” he shares. Dominic defends the fact that having a father who was then locked away played a pivotal role in his behavior. “I started doing bad in school, hanging out with the wrong friends, and skipping school,” Dominic states. Unfortunately Dominic, despite having a father then serving time in prison for drug charges, became involved in selling drugs while in middle school. “I felt like I had to go out there and get it [nice stuff] on my own,” he confesses.

Prior to his incarceration, Dominic’s father, who always had an interest in painting cars, owned and operated two auto shops. “Before he went to prison, I had always hung out around my dad’s shop, because I was interested in painting cars then,” Dominic admits. Shortly after the release of his release from prison, Dominic’s father shared with him his vision for creating the Southside Rides program, but Dominic didn’t take him too seriously initially. “I thought he was playing at first, but then I realized he was serious when he got about ten guys from the neighborhood together to fix up and paint one of his old cars,” he shares.

By working with his dad and other young men to get the program up and running, Dominic transformed what began as an interest in painting cars into his own passion – the art of customized paint jobs. “I enjoy painting cars, because [with customization] I’m able to make each one look different in some way,” as he explains his passion for the trade. After completing the in-classroom and hands-on intensive eight-week program offered by Southside Rides and Forsyth Tech, he received his certificate in automotive trade. Over the course of the past year, Dominic prides himself in having painted over 50 different vehicles.

“My dad always says, ‘Believe in anything and you can do it,’” Dominic states. It’s this same father-to-son message that Dave Moore has instilled in the lives of so many young men that continues to inspire and give them hope for a brighter future.

-- Christina Sandidge