Taylor Scifres

Taylor Scifres - Seven Teens in 2017

Bryant High School senior Taylor Scifres spends the majority of her free time advocating for children and domestic violence prevention.

In Taylor’s nomination for being highlighted in these pages, it was stated that Taylor “moves mountains to help young people and victims of domestic violence. She does so much to help others, yet stays under the radar asking for no recognition. She just simply wants to make a difference. And she does.”

Taylor was nominated by Suzanne Passmore, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bryant. Through her employment at the Bryant club and volunteer work at Safe Haven domestic violence shelter, Taylor fully realized the crippling effect domestic violence has on the community, she said.

Statistics such as 1,580 children in Arkansas losing their lives in 2014 because of abuse and neglect made a lasting impact on Taylor and motivate her to do her part to reverse these trends. “I vowed to do everything in my power in order to make a difference, and this was my motivation to write to the Clinton Foundation’s Ideas Matter Essay Contest proposing a way to provide victims with a more efficient way to disclose abuse.”

Her voice was heard as she earned top essay in the state as well as a scholarship to the college of her choice. After high school, Taylor said she plans to attend Ouachita Baptist University and major in premed biology.

“I plan to become a doctor and this will allow me the opportunity to become an advocate for all of my patients,” Taylor said. “I want to specialize in pediatrics, so I can continue to advocate for children, no matter their situation.”

Taylor’s involvement with the Bryant Boys & Girls Club affiliate helped shape the outstanding volunteer that she is today. She first became a member in the fourth grade and now works as a youth specialist. “My years of service have allowed me to experience the club from multiple perspectives,” she said.

The most challenging aspect of her job, she noted, is knowing that for some club members, a steady home life doesn’t exist. “It’s a haunting reality that some kids will go home and not be fed or bathed, and that the only positive role models in their life are their teachers and the staff at our club. This reality motivates me to build relationships that will be their constant.”

Taylor is quick to point out the definition of domestic violence – the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetuated by one intimate partner against another. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. In one year, that equates to more than 10 million women and men.

Taylor wants to see these alarming statistics disappear. In her small way, she’s working to make a big impact to reverse these statistics. According to her nomination, she “jumps at every opportunity to mentor young girls and help set them on the path for a great future.”

The most rewarding part of her job is seeing how kindness can change lives, Taylor said. “Every day I get the opportunity to build relationships with our members, and this allows me the chance to positively impact their lives. Knowing that I am a role model for our members encourages me to be the best I can possibly be and to show kindness every day.”

Taylor is active on the Honor Roll and a member of the National Honor Society. She serves on the Mayor’s Youth Council and on the tennis team, is a Health Knowledge Bowl state champion as well as a member of the Young Democrats Club. Her favorite subject in school has always been science, particularly biology.

During school breaks and when she’s not busy volunteering or working at the club, Taylor works her second job at Old Navy. She also interns three hours every day at the Bryant Area Chamber of Commerce. And on the weekends, she offers her babysitting services.

In her spare time, Taylor enjoys reading and watching medical documentaries. “I also love spending time with my family and friends on the weekends.”