Taylor Wynne graduated from Beaumont School for Girls in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 2017. In the fall, she will attend Bethune Cookman University, where she will study Elementary Education with a concentration in English and a minor in Religious Studies. She was originally introduced to ACT-SO during one of her NAACP meetings. She realized the many wonderful opportunities that the program offerS to the youth, and she instantly knew that she had to participate. She competed in the 2017 local Cleveland ACT-SO branch competition in the Oratory category, where she received a gold medal for her piece titled, Dreams. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Taylor has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of this month!
Three Words to Describe Feelings about National Competition
Anxious, honored and grateful. Taylor is anxious because she cannot wait to arrive in Baltimore and find out what ACT-SO is all about. She is excited to see her competitors and the great talent that she will be competing against. She is honored because she has the chance to share her talent with people from all across the country. Lastly, she is grateful because God has blessed her with this amazing opportunity to change her life for the better by sharing her message with the world.
Nerves & Excitement
Taylor is not very nervous about competing in the national competition. To most people’s surprise, when she is on stage or speaking in front of a crowd, she is in her “safe spot.” She feels so comfortable because she is doing what she loves to do: talking. She is also happy to know that for at least five minutes, everyone’s attention will be solely focused on her and what she has to say. She plans to take full advantage of the artistic exposure she will gain from this competition, as well as all of the other benefits that will come from participating in an event of this caliber. From this competition, Taylor also hopes to gain a new outlook on life. She believes that African American teenagers, specifically, are constantly being labeled by demeaning stereotypes given to them by society. Thus, she is grateful that the talent showcased in the ACT-SO competitions prove all of these prejudices to be incorrect and allow Black youth to shed their bright lights.
Before every speech, Taylor always recites the 23rd Psalm in her head. She continues this pre-performance ritual because not only is it a calming method, but, more importantly, it keeps her grounded and reminds her of why she is doing what she is doing. God has blessed her with the talent of public and motivational speaking, which is something that not many young students are confident doing. Thus, when she competes, Taylor does not merely do it for recognition or accolades; she does it because she knows that God has instilled in her a powerful passion that can one day change the world. Taylor knows that this change will only come to fruition if she continues to remain humble and grounded in the Lord’s almighty word.
“Go for it! If you’re serious about your talent, and you want to take it to the next level, then ACT-SO is the way to go. When competing in the ACT-SO competition on the national level, it’s no longer about winning; it’s about the exposure, the many connections and the great experience that you’ve been given.” – Taylor Wynne
We wish you the best of luck, Taylor, in the 2017 national competition!