Taylor joined Jesse Draper Boys & Girls Club in 2009. She was just 10 years old and remembers being painfully shy. She felt different and alone.
“I felt as if I needed to conform to what was around me to fit in, to be considered a normal person. I struggled with this for a long time until I realized how unhappy I was.”
Over the last 7 years, the peers and staff at her Club have become a huge source of support for her. She has found programs tied to her passions and people who are in her corner.
“I learned it was okay to be different and have a unique personality and perspective on life. I am happier in my own skin now.”
During her time at the Club, Taylor learned the importance of giving back. She has logged nearly 750 volunteer hours in the past 12 months, frequently mentoring younger kids at the Club. She has also led service projects focused on raising money to help premature infants, provide food for the homeless, and to offer toiletry items to underprivileged women.
Taylor has been involved in a number of Boys & Girls Club
programs including Keystone Club, a service and leadership group for teens ages 14-18 and College Bound, a program that prepares teens for college testing, scholarships and campus life. She has also participated in many programs that helped her with career and college planning. “These programs helped me become more aware of how fast the future was coming and how unprepared I was for it.”
Far from unprepared now, Taylor boasts a 3.7 GPA and is President of the Future Business Leaders of America. She has also taken more than five AP and honors courses at her school – Hapeville Charter Career Academy.
Upon graduating next spring, she hopes to attend the University of Georgia and explore a career in law or computer science.