Taylore Shaw '14 Named Fourth
April 10, 2013
Name and Class Year: Taylore Shaw, 2014
Hometown: Rowlett, Texas
High School: Lakeview Centennial High School College and Career Magnet Collegiate Academy
Minor: African American Studies
Campus Activities: S.G.A. Class of 2014 President, BSA Assistant Treasurer, Rally Day Committee, Rules Committee
Last Movie Seen in Theaters: Olympus Has Fallen
Favorite Movie: Independence Day
Favorite Song: "Once in a Lifetime" by Beyoncé Knowles
Smith House: King House
Last Book Read: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Favorite Book: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Hobbies/Interests: Event planning, reading, snorkeling, baking
Favorite Place on Campus: Mwangi Cultural Center
Favorite Campus Dining Location King Dining Hall
Fondest Smith Memory So Far: My fondest Smith memory is the Bridge Program. The Bridge Program welcomes students of all racial backgrounds and creates a more culturally inclusive community, as well as provides an opportunity for finding mentors, friends, and resources on campus. Being involved in the Bridge Class of 2010 allowed me to further evolve as a better friend by sharing different perspectives and appreciating the similarities and differences within the Smith community. As a Bridgee, I was able to make a multitude of friends and understand other cultures and ethnicities.
Favorite Quote: "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." —Maya Angelou
Where did you grow up and what was life like there?
I was born in Rowlett, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. I spent my entire childhood in a place that valued family, education, and service for all neighbors. I was able to attend schools that acknowledged and nurtured my intellect. I made friends that I have kept in contact with since kindergarten. My small town is a place for families to grow and young children to thrive. I'm very blessed to have grown up in a community that embraces family values.
Describe your family.
When thinking of my family, I immediately think of the words loving and supportive. Since I was a young child I can remember my relatives and immediate family cheering me on at soccer games, mock-trial competitions, and being extremely proud at my high school graduation. Specifically, my mother has always been my biggest fan in all of my accomplishments. Family is love and I would not be able to enjoy or share my successes if my family were not involved in my education and career pursuits.
How did you discover Smith?
I was recruited to Smith by a close family friend and Smith alumna, Annette Miller '85. Mrs. Miller is an active Smith recruiter in the Dallas area and explained to me how Smith helped develop her into a strong and independent woman. She shared Smith traditions and opportunities that were offered to young women and explained how Smith would change my life forever.
What were your first impressions of the College? Do you find they're still true today?
Smith is a place where I am able to grow as a woman of color, as a student, as well as a person. Now that I have spent almost three years of my adult life embracing the independent and empowering community that is Smith College, I understand that Smith is an amazing place for the advancement of women leaders. I will always be thankful for the values that Smith has instilled in me and the encouragement that I have felt since day one.
What was high school like? Who inspired you?
Attending Lakeview Centennial High School College and Career Magnet Collegiate Academy allowed me to mature from a teenager into a young adult. I was surrounded by different cultures and ethnicities that allowed me to become a very accepting person and one that values friendship above all else. As a Lakeview Patriot, I was also an active participant in student government.
My high school Chemistry teacher Dr. Heather Hillibreaner heavily influenced me. She is an educator that truly embodied what it means to be a role model for young girls and boys during my sophomore year. She encouraged me to follow my heart and to dream. Being a student in her class was rewarding both educationally and personally. I will always remember the knowledge that I gained and the friendship that we developed.
What Smith professors, coaches or advisors have inspired you?
Pamela Petro, a Smith College English professor, is a great inspiration both personally and academically. She has encouraged and allowed me to become a more confident writer. The course entitled "Introduction to Creative Nonfiction: Writing about Sports" was one of the most exciting courses I have taken at Smith. Professor Petro's eagerness to teach and the learning atmosphere that she created for the class was invaluable to my learning experience. She is a professor who makes writing fun and creates an open space for her students to share their thoughts about sports and current events. When attending her class I was able to speak freely about what I thought without judgment. Professor Petro is a great professor who understands her students' academic needs.
Have you volunteered as a student? If yes, what did you find most rewarding about the experience?
I have always volunteered in my community. In the past, I have been an active student tutor at Lyles Middle School in math, science, and reading. That experience allowed me to help young children understand their self-worth and the impact that they can have on the world. I have also volunteered as a visual aid reader at the Garland Visual Aid Center where I was able to read math problems, plays, and novels. I have also volunteered at Mission Arlington, where I helped organize supplies, clothing, and materials for individuals facing poverty in the community. While volunteering I was able to understand how the smallest deed can have the biggest impact in someone's life and that a simple act of kindness has the power to encourage other individuals throughout their daily struggles.
What are your plans after Smith?
After graduating from Smith, I plan to apply and gain acceptance into a Master's Program to further my journey of higher education. During that time I would also like to volunteer in my community by encouraging students in high school to apply to college, become more independent and responsible young adults. After graduating from my Master's Program I plan to secure a job for which I have a passion.
What perspective would you share with alumnae?
During my time at Smith I have been able to achieve my personal and academic goals in a place that embraces differences, changes, and various lifestyles. I was blessed to be a part of a community that not only represents women, but also represents leaders. The Smith Fund has allowed me to embrace my full power as a woman and strengthen my knowledge as a student. Smith is like no other place in the world and with the help of Smith Alumnae many young women are afforded the experience and opportunities that Smith College offers. It is important for alumnae to understand that their generosity motivates the women that receive financial aid packages, because it gives us another purpose to succeed in life, as well as throughout our academic career.