Tyzhir Morris

Tyzhir Morris '22 comes into his senior year with two goals: obtain his degree and continue his work as a student entrepreneur.

Rather than pursuing large profits for personal gain, Morris founded his own apparel line, BeTrue Apparel, and has been donating profits to local nonprofit organizations while spreading the message of empathy and authenticity to the community. Through the university's Black Student Union (BSU), Morris was given an opportunity to showcase his skills as an entrepreneur and small business owner.

“The BSU facilitated a pop-up shop that was my first real opportunity to interact with people and explain what I'm trying to build as well as what my brand is about,” said Morris. “From that pop-up shop, I received recommendations and feedback that helped my brand grow into what it is today, and I hope to continue to watch it expand.”

Morris has always prided himself on being empathetic toward other people's situations. He has made sure to contribute whatever he could to make someone else's life more tranquil and problem-free.

“I decided to do something nice for a local nonprofit and sell sweatshirts and donate the proceeds to them. As I made my first order of sweatshirts, I saw how fast they sold out and how many people were interested in supporting my passion for helping. I was able to double my goal of what I wanted to donate to the nonprofit. From there, I was inspired to create my own brand that served the same purpose of giving back to different groups and local initiatives."

"Rather than judging someone and potentially viewing them as lesser, ask yourself what you can do to help this person achieve a life that you wish for yourself."

One nonprofit that Morris supports is Unending Promise (UP), an autism social group in Berks County led by Luci Schaeffer, M.Ed., instructor of education and coordinator of special education programs at Alvernia. She first met Morris in the fall of 2018, when he attended a class she taught.

“As school started in fall 2020, I noticed several people around campus wearing shirts with the word AUtism on them,” Schaeffer said. “I wondered about their origin. About a month into the semester, Ty presented me with a gift bag with Buzz Lightyear on the outside. He said he got the bag for my son, Adam, who has autism and loves Toy Story. Inside, I found one of the AUtism shirts. Ty said to me that he ordered the shirts and decals and made them in his room. Then he told me to look in the bag again, and that's when I found a card. Inside the card was a handwritten note telling me that Ty wanted to do something special for UP. He sold the shirts as a fundraiser and raised $1,000 for UP. I was blown away.”

Morris has attended games for Schaeffer's son's special needs baseball league and continually expresses an interest in helping.

“He is a great student, and he truly cares about others,” said Schaeffer. “He is a go-getter with an entrepreneurial spirit, and I am thankful that I get to be a part of his life and watch him do great things.”

Morris is also a member of the university's football team. His former coach, Ralph Clark, met Morris in the summer of 2017 at a football prospect camp. He knew from the start that Morris would make a great team player.

“He's able to communicate with his teammates about schemes on the field, as well as academics and everyday life,” said Clark. “He's unselfish also. In all, he's played every position in our defensive backfield at a high level and done so willingly. You couldn't ask for a better team player.”

Morris believes the most rewarding aspects of his educational journey thus far involve his fieldwork opportunities and volunteering experiences. “Seeing the impact that something that may seem small to me makes on someone else is what makes it all worth it for me,” he explained. “Knowing that I'm able to help one person or my services are appreciated by one person is enough for me to continue to attempt to help hundreds of people.”

His long-term goal is to be a school principal as well as a coach. Short-term, Morris plans on getting a job in special education at the high school level while coaching football and growing the BeTrue brand.

“I would encourage young people always to remember that you never know someone's situation, and you won't ever understand how influential a small gesture can be for someone in a struggling situation,” he said. “Rather than judging someone and potentially viewing them as lesser, ask yourself what you can do to help this person achieve a life that you wish for yourself.”

Early Childhood PK-4 & Special Ed PK-12

Degree Type:
Bachelor of Arts
Early Childhood PK-4 & Special Ed PK-12
  • Reading Campus
Program Type:
Undergraduate Major
Credit Hours: