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Women of Aux: Telecia Taylor

As Telecia boarded a plane for the very first time, she was wracked with nerves. She had never left Jamaica, and now she was about to fly to America to start a whole new life. As a middle school student, she was anxious and excited for the new adventure. She never knew the accomplishments she would see in the years to come.

Telecia was a good student, and she enjoyed being involved in her Maryland high school. When her senior year arrived, though, she felt extremely unprepared for the college process.

鈥淚 had never really thought about college like that,鈥 the first generation student recalled. 鈥淢y parents hadn鈥檛 gone [to college], so they didn鈥檛 really know how to tell me to apply or what to do. I just tried to watch what my friends were doing and figure it out.鈥

She struggled to decipher the nuances of financial aid, housing and registration. But, through trial and error and with the help of her counselors, Telecia was able to navigate the messy terrain of starting college.

Telecia declared a major of interdisciplinary studies with a focus in information systems and psychology, and she really thought she was pursuing the best field for her. It wasn鈥檛 until her senior year of college, though, that she realized she wasn鈥檛 being fulfilled.

鈥淚 remember going to a retreat that fall and hearing the speaker talk about passion- something I thought was pretty generic,鈥 she said. 鈥淏ut then it hit me. I realized how much I loved programming and helping students with their college transition and giving back to students the way student affairs professionals gave back to me in undergrad!鈥

Following that revelation, Telecia earned her master鈥檚 in education and eventually landed her position with University Housing at Georgia Southern in 2016. As the resident director for Eagle Village, Telecia also acts as the coordinator for the Lab Living-Learning Community (LLC) within the hall.

鈥淭hose students are my everything,鈥 she said. 鈥淪ome days it鈥檚 challenging, but the little moments remind me why I enjoy doing what I鈥檓 doing. I want to help students realize the potential they have. I want to have meaningful conversations with them.鈥

Telecia鈥檚 passion for her work and selfless care for her students earned her the title of the inaugural 鈥淪hine Black Girl Shine鈥 staff award from the University鈥檚 Office of Multicultural Affairs this year. Her mentorship and guidance shine through in her strong LLC alumni-base who still reach out to her as well as in her praises from her co-workers and supervisors.

鈥淚 generally shy away from the spotlight and push others to succeed,鈥 she said, 鈥渂ut I鈥檓 so flattered to hear that people recognize my passion. As an immigrant, first-generation college student and woman of color, I take pride in being that representation for students in the hall and strive to mentor my students any chance I get.鈥 聽聽

to read the full story of Women of Aux in the Aux Now Magazine.

-Aubrey T. Hall
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Posted in Staff Recognition