Sarcastic, charming, revolutionary, and the original “straight-talker” are all words used to describe one man, Christopher Jamal Taylor. But what does he prefer to be called? Simply Chris. Chris was born in Opelousas, Louisiana—the small town where his unorthodox journey began.
At an early age, Chris identified a need to continuously broaden his horizons, and he has never missed an opportunity to expand his mind. He has traveled to nearly half of the states in the US and five countries abroad. He has also lived in five different states. Through his travels, Chris developed a love for diplomacy, prompting him toward his intended major of international affairs. By seeing different cultures, he began to view the world less as black and white and more as a kaleidoscope of ethnicities, ideas, and cultures. When he was 10 years old, Chris overheard his uncle speak his name in conjunction with names and phrases like W. E. B. Dubois and talented tenth. Although he had no prior knowledge of Dubois or the talented tenth, he researched both and was convinced that he must fulfill this honor by living the life of a leader. In doing so, Chris constantly reviews his actions to ensure that his workings are not merely self-serving, but, beneficial to the entire community. Whether it is in dispelling racial stereotypes by competing in varsity swimming and pursuing academic excellence, by leading his school’s Mock Trial team to the state competition every year he has been a member, or through spearheading community service initiatives, Chris is cognizant of his vow to empower others by example. Although he has distinguished himself academically, having been named a National Achievement Scholar, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a South Carolina Governor’s Scholar, Chris is most intrinsically rewarded by his work in First Northeast Baptist Church. Chris believes that his spirit guides his actions, and therefore strives to be a Christian. He has been a devoted member of the Logos Team, a group dedicated to public reading of the Scriptures, and a leader of the Junior Ushers for several years. In addition to directing other ushers, Chris has assumed the responsibility of mentoring those who will replace him once he departs for college. He hopes to pass along responsibility, commitment, and leadership—character traits that were instilled in him and have contributed to who he is today.
His Christianity, teachings from his parents, moral conscience, and the very fibers of Chris’ body dictate that he has to serve others. For this reason, Chris plans to pursue a career in the United States Foreign Service, as he believes this platform will provide the greatest opportunity to meet the needs of others. In Chris’ eyes, it would mean failure to have talents and not use them to aid others.