Strong Girl: Taylor Allen

Meet Taylor. Taylor Allen.

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Out of my sisters on the Rose Festival court, this girl and I had something in common that none of our fellow princesses did – our awesome name!

From the moment I met Taylor, I was amazed by her ability to use her voice – to speak wisdom, to stand up for others, to let kindness, care and tact inhabit her conversations.

She was the senior class president at Grant High School (article when she won as Grant’s princess), interned at Portland city hall after finishing high school, and from the looks of years at Spelman College, she continued to be a person of influence – the president of her class during her freshman and sophomore years.

Now she’s a Fulbright Scholar. What a true leader in every sense of the word!

One of my favorite memories of Taylor as a fellow princess? Probably our moments at headquarters where we would get dressed and have downtime between events. I think Taylor won the prize for being the girl who took the most time to get changed, no matter how much we heckled her about it. She never failed to make us laugh.

But here’s part of Taylor’s story – a story of a strong girl who moved to a new country, filling her life with new experiences and opening herself up to the possibilities that surround her.

Angkor Wat

How does the word “movement” fit into your life, especially any changes that have happened over the last few months?

Movement fits into my life in reference to progression and change. In fact I feel like this post grad transition stage could be entirely classified as a “movement.” I am ever attempting to develop and grow into a strong, independent and loving global citizen. I also feel like I am undergoing a great deal of reflection in order to determine my career goals and think about the kind of young woman I want to be. Furthermore, the word movement signifies a change that could be greater than one self and I hope that God will guide me to my greater purpose here on life while also helping and lifting others around me in the most impactful way possible.

What are you currently doing and what brought you there?

Currently I am living in Daegu, South Korea on a Fulbright Fellowship. I have lived abroad for 11 months. I teach secondary conversational English at a private inner city high school. I came to Korea because I decided to step out of faith and hope. Before I moved to Korea, I did not have a passport and had never been outside of the country. In order to be the type of leader I hope to be, I felt like it was important to have a global experience. I wanted to live in another country and experience the nuances of a different culture and perspectives. I was particularly interested in Asian culture and wanted to challenge myself by going to one of the most homogenous countries in the world. I wanted to use English as a platform to complete a cultural exchange.

Taylor on a zip line adventure.

Taylor on a zip line adventure.

What is one goal you have this year?

One goal that I have for this year is to live and pay attention. Being in Korea for one year, I have really challenged myself to cherish and embrace every single moment. For me, paying attention means that I strive to live 100 percent in the moment. In daily life it is easy to be distracted by small things like the internet, tv, a cellphone etc. I have realized that paying attention to my life in reference to the small things and all things helps me further piece my life puzzle together. As I find personal significance in my experiences they help me achieve an affirmed sense of purpose and direction.

What is something new that brings Joy to your life?

In this past year I have received a great deal of joy in traveling and experiencing different culures and places. I really enjoy witnessing the different ways of the world. The more I experience various parts of the world, the more I deepen my sense of reflection about the question, “what is my place in the world?” As a developing global citizen, I am constantly thinking about my small part/place in the world to incite beneficial change.

Tree Cambodia
Thank you, Taylor, for sharing part of your story with us! Your ability to step out in faith and embrace the differences that make humanity so wonderful is inspiring to all of us. You are moving in big ways and great things are ahead of you!

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