One student who knew Taylor wrote... "I think everyone there [her funeral] had a Tay story... Taylor Witcher was not only a mentor, she was a friend, sister and role model to me."
And still another..."It was not her involvement in her many activities that made her special, even though they were admirable. It was her radiant spirit of security, generosity and leadership."
I waited until the day was over, until no one needed me, until my boys had entertainment of their own so I could read and cry and curse the reality of the scholarship.
Then I had to make a decision; I had to choose five essays from 25, five from twenty-five voices representing every single walk of life we have at UHS, from the most advantaged to the most challenged.. The prompt asked each applicant to read Taylor's quote -"It's not whose going to let me; it's whose going to stop me." and then to choose their own. I loved each quote chosen by the twenty five students who were willing to write but I share three of them:
"It's not the light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but the thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake." Fredrick Douglas
"Of this be sure: you do not find the happy life you make it." Thomas S. Monson
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style"
Oh baby girl. Your life deserves so much more than your mother's tears.
I am thankful we put it out there so these 25 young minds could think about their self worth, their own definition of self. I am thankful that these students find themselves worthy of a college scholarship, that the message of our work has penetrated poverty, abuse, abandonment, alienation, over-achievement and perfectionism.
We only get to do this once people - light the fire, be the storm, quake the earth, and do all of this with passionate compassion and if you think of it...#golighttheworld