"When we're young, it sometimes seems as if the world doesn't exist outside our city, our block, our house, our room. We make decisions based on what we see in that limited world and follow the only models available " (Moore, 178). Role models play a huge role in shaping an individual and the paths that they go down in their lifetime. In the case of Wes Moore and the other Wes Moore the different role models they had played a large role in shaping who they became and why they turned out so differently. The strongest influences in Wes Moore's life were strong positive influences that helped guide him into the successful adult he is now, and unfortunately the other Wes Moore had several presences in his life that, although not intentionally, steered him down the wrong path. Both of their parents played a huge role in shaping who they became. Their mothers who were their primary caregivers parented them differently. Even their father had an influence because even though they were not present in their upbringing, the lack of their presence and the few memories the boys had of them affected the Wes Moore's in big ways. The final role models that in large part influenced the lives of these boys were Tony, for the other Wes Moore, and the sergeants at the military school that Wes Moore attended. Wes Moore's strong mother, caring father and respectable sergeants at military school helped send him down a good path, while the other Wes Moore's mother, father and brother did not support him in the correct ways at important junctures in his life and did not stop him from making mistakes that ultimately landed him in jail.
Wes Moore's mother, Joy did everything in her power to steer her son in the right direction, often making huge sacrifices, which ultimately paid off, to do so. She believed that "overdoing it was better than doing nothing at all " (95), and she made the decision to do what not many other mothers were doing in her neighborhood and send her son to private school, and then military school when that didn't work.