High School Senior Raised Abroad Adjusts to Life in Minnesota

Student Spotlight: From Macedonia to Minnetonka, Becky Moore values friendship and faith.

As the daughter of American missionaries, Becky Moore has lived in many places.

“I was born in Austria,” Moore said. “My family lived in Serbia, but the Serbian hospitals were in bad shape because of the war, so my parents went to Austria to have me.”  

The Minnetonka High School senior also has two brothers, 8 and 10 years older.

After Serbia, the Moore family moved to Hungary, then to Macedonia. In 2008, they returned to the U.S., settling in Minnetonka.

“Macedonia had a poor schooling system,” Moore explained. “My parents wanted me to go to high school in America.”

Being an American eighth grader was an adjustment for Moore. “I didn’t understand their lingo,” she said of her new classmates. “I was very quiet that first year.”

Students were curious about her missionary childhood. “Sometimes people make judgments when they find out why I lived in Europe,” she said. “Usually, they say ‘That’s cool,’ but some people think it’s weird.”

After moving to Minnetonka, Moore joined the school choir. In her junior year, she traveled to Ireland with the choir. This spring, they will go to New York to perform. Moore is looking forward to seeing some Broadway shows.

Moore is also a member of the chamber singers, a smaller group that is busy caroling this holiday season. “We sing at nursing homes, Fletcher’s, Maynard’s, and private house parties,” said Moore, an alto.

Music is an important part of her life. “I like all kinds of music,” she said.  “Especially classical. The classical station is on at our house all the time.” 

Musical talent seems to run in the family. Moore’s grandmother was a vocal director at Bethel University.   

Moore also enjoys theater, which led her to enroll in Emily Reeder’s theater class at Minnetonka. “It’s fun to use creativity for projects,” Moore said. “We take a script and direct our own play.” Moore got to try out her acting skills last spring with a role in Minnetonka Theatre’s Legally Blonde.

When Moore moved to the U.S., she noticed differences between the European and American cultures.

“People over there aren’t busy all the time,” she said. “They just hang out together. The culture is based on relationships. Here, everybody has a schedule.”

Moore herself maintains a busy schedule. In addition to singing and acting, she meets weekly with her youth group at Ridgewood Church in Minnetonka.  She also works part-time at Caribou Coffee. “I hate coffee,” she admitted. “I drink tea.”

She has learned to balance these activities with school work, and is on the A honor roll. Her secret to academic success?

“I haven’t had the senior slack thing,” she said. 

Like many seniors, Moore is tackling the college application process.  She is looking at Concordia College, Minnesota State, and Bethel. “A laptop for college” tops her Christmas wish list.

“I’m excited to go to college,” she said. “I’ve moved around so much, I never really got to start and finish something with one group of people, a fresh group of people all starting together.”

She shouldn’t have trouble fitting in on a new campus. Moore credits her international upbringing for helping her relate to all kinds of people.  

“In Hungary, there was a lot of wealth, but in Serbia, people were very poor,” she explained. “I think I can relate to a wide variety of people and life experiences having lived there.”

Moore hasn’t decided on a college major. “Maybe music or teaching,” she said.  “I like working with kids.” 

Moore worked with children last summer in her job as a counselor at Joni and Friends, a camp for kids with disabilities. She especially enjoyed working one-on-one with a camper her age, 18.

“I had to find new ways to communicate with her, which is rewarding,” Moore said. “It helped to put myself in her shoes.” 

In her free time, Moore hangs out with friends. Her best friend is Minnetonka senior Amy Stoltenberg. “We didn’t like each other at first,” said Moore. “But we came to realize how similar we are.” 

Last year, Stoltenberg shattered her foot while cliff jumping with Moore near St. Cloud and has experienced chronic pain since.

“It’s encouraging to help a friend who is going through something hard,” Moore said. “We help each other through stuff.”

Moore remembers what it's like being the new kid, and she offers this advice to younger students:

“Be yourself at school,” she said. “That’s the real you, and that’s who people want to get to know.”

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