‘Tayler’ made for success (Pittsburgh's own Tayler Kirkland)

“She spent many years working in the church’s outreach department, assisting children victimized or exposed to drugs, violence and other harsh environments, and volunteering at annual toys and coat drives for needy children,” said Jacque Fielder, executive director of Nabhi Christian Ministries.  “Before Tayler went to college, she was a faithful member and volunteer at Nabhi Christian Ministries. Tayler has always been very serious and is a very mature and focused young adult.”
“Since I was 6 years old, my mom always told us to always give back,” Kirkland said. “When I’m doing the coat drive that I do annually, a lot of the kids come up to me and say thank you, or thank you for the toys.”
Kirkland, a psychology major with a minor in biology, said more people her age should volunteer their time. “There’s not a lot of stuff to do in Pittsburgh for teenagers and that’s how they get in trouble, so being a part of organizations or volunteering anywhere will help with curbing violence and getting kids off the street,” she said.
As a sophomore next fall, Kirkland will become a community assistant at IUP—also known as resident assistants in dormitories. In effect, she’s singing the same tune—helping other students, many who will be incoming freshmen, navigate the waters of college life. As a freshman this year, she experienced those same ups and downs. “It was kind of stressful but I got through it, the transition from high school to being on your own, doing everything on your own,” she said.
Kirkland’s advice to those graduating seniors heading to college in the fall: “I would look at organizations to get involved in, because once you have a lot of friends to help you out with school and stuff…just being a part of the community in college will help you out.”
 
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