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.
“I had never really thought about college like that,” the first generation student recalled. “My parents hadn’t gone [to college], so they didn’t 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.”
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’t until her senior year of college, though, that she realized she wasn’t being fulfilled.
“I remember going to a retreat that fall and hearing the speaker talk about passion- something I thought was pretty generic,” she said. “But 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!”
Following that revelation, Telecia earned her master’s 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.
“Those students are my everything,” she said. “Some days it’s challenging, but the little moments remind me why I enjoy doing what I’m doing. I want to help students realize the potential they have. I want to have meaningful conversations with them.”
Telecia’s passion for her work and selfless care for her students earned her the title of the inaugural “Shine Black Girl Shine” staff award from the University’s 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.
“I generally shy away from the spotlight and push others to succeed,” she said, “but I’m 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.”
Click here to read the full story of Women of Aux in the Aux Now Magazine.
-Aubrey T. Hall
Posted in Staff Recognition