“What most excites me is the spirit Taylour shows, not just outwardly but inwardly,” said Sandra Douglas, who’s known the Lanphier High School student since Taylour was born.
“Students are often taunted because of their physical and natural appearances … (Taylour) is there to encourage them and lend them a helping hand,” Douglas said. “She will walk with them and hold their hands until they have found strength.”
Douglas nominated Taylour for the Top Teen award, which recognizes central Illinois teens who make a difference in their communities. It is given by The Voice section of The State Journal-Register.
Taylour is a lifetime member of the Greater All Nations Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. She’s encouraged other teens to join and participate in fellowship, Douglas said.
“They are encouraged by her outpouring of generosity,” she said.
Taylour choreographs a youth pom squad for children ages 12 to 15 at the church. She drives some of the students to practice so they can participate. In addition, she made T-shirts for the children. She’s trying to expand the program to meet year-round with more frequent activities.
Taylour’s also a member of the youth choir.
“She is a doer of God’s words,” Douglas said. “She is an entrepreneur in her own right. She makes the best butter cake you have ever tasted. She is always willing to donate butter cake to church fundraisers.”
The 17-year-old also sells her butter cakes. She started a business, taking orders with a special form created by her mom.
Through an explorer program at Memorial Medical Center, Taylour developed a passion for speech pathology.
She works at Fairview Elementary School every day after school as part of a service learning program. Taylour works in a fifth grade classroom three days per week. She spends the other two days assisting a speech therapist working with children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
“I like working with the kids the most,” Taylour said about her work in the classroom.
While at Memorial, she saw employees working with a recovering stroke patient. This triggered her desire to help in the same way, though she doesn’t yet know whether she’d prefer to work with children or adults.
“I like watching people progress,” Taylour said.
Taylour built a bridge for the Junior Engineering Technical Society annual contest. For spirit club, she teaches cheers to freshman and sophomore students for Lanphier games.
Taylour’s also a member of the National Honor Society. And, she plays soccer at Lanphier.
In addition, Taylour said she loves to draw and received a national award for a self-portrait.
After she leaves Lanphier, the teen plans to attend Lincoln Land Community College and then Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to study speech pathology.
But, before then, she’ll be in an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority “Fashionetta 2014: A Pink Carpet Affair” cotillion on Saturday at the downtown Hilton Hotel. Young women in the program participate in educational, cultural, and social events and community service projects. Taylour is one of this year’s debutantes and has to memorize three dances — one by herself, one with her escort and one with her father.
“I think it will be a good experience,” she said.