Jaylyn Taylor graduated from Lakeview High School in 2017. He started attending Kellogg Community College the following fall, pursuing an associate degree, and for the past year has served as student representative to KCC’s Board of Trustees.
Taylor was asked to become student representative after attending a Board meeting, where he met Dean of Student Services Terah Zaremba. Zaremba was impressed with Taylor and recommended him to Board Chair Steve Claywell, who expressed interest in having a student representative.
“I received an email a couple days after the meeting from Terah about a potential leadership opportunity that might interest me as a political science major,” Taylor said recently. “We met up and Terah asked if I wanted to be the first student representative on the KCC Board of Trustees. After a couple of days of thinking things through, I decided that it was something I wanted to do, and my first official meeting as the student representative was in March 2019.”
Taylor says that being on the Board allowed him to grow as a professional and learn more about higher education, the Battle Creek community and the challenges some students face while enrolled in college.
“Each day gave me a totally new and interesting experience to look forward to, to learn from, to be challenged and to grow from,” Taylor said. “Just getting to know more of my peers on a deeper level, being a voice for the student body and bringing a student’s perspective to the Board was interesting to me.”
Taylor said that one of his most interesting experiences while serving with the Board was talking to state legislators in April 2019 about dual enrollment and early college, transfer agreements between two-year and four-year institutions, trade opportunities and the value of KCC’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center campus. Taylor also played a huge role as a student on the presidential search committee finalist Board interviews that led to the hiring of current KCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings.
“I wanted to be on the Board because I believed it was important that there was a direct connection and voice between the student body and the decision-making body of the college,” Taylor said. “To be able to serve in something greater than myself and be a part of the what I believe is only the beginning of student leaders having a seat at the table was exciting.”
Taylor was also chosen to be the speaker at Commencement in May (which was recently canceled) and said he was planning to speak about how important it is for graduates to be the author of their own stories and not let fear of failure keep them from the great opportunities that life can offer.
In the future, Taylor plans on transferring to a four-year university, where he’ll likely major in political science.