March 8, 2017
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The light shines down and success surrounds Western Illinois University alumnus D’Angelo Taylor as he travels down the road to success.
Born and raised on the south side of Richmond, Virginia, Taylor didn’t always envision that he’d be a successful scholar, let alone attend a university.
“I didn’t think I would be this successful growing up,” said Taylor. “My earliest goal was to be a bus driver because they had respect and authority, then become a Long John Silver’s store manager.”
According to Taylor, influential people can make all the difference within an individual’s life. If God didn’t bless him with a grandmother who pushed him to do something different, he might’ve seen his bus driver dream come to fruition.
“My grandmother worked for the Defense Supply Center of Richmond for over 30 years,” said Taylor. “She not only encouraged me to go to college, but she also instilled in me the values of hard work and perseverance.”
Taylor continued to find positive influences as he began his student career at Western.
“My two mentors, Dr. Jack Thomas and Dr. Richard Hardy, also play a significant role in my life,” Taylor said. “Dr. Thomas has continued to help me navigate the rigors of higher education both as a student and as a professional while Dr. Richard Hardy pushed me to become more politically active as a student in my community.”
Taylor served two terms on the Western Illinois University’s Board of Trustees before becoming an Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center at the University of Southern Indiana. He also serves as the Co-Advisor for the Collegiate Men of Distinction Mentoring Program.
Although he is proud of these accomplishments, he will always remember the road he had to endure to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Becoming successful wasn’t always easy,” said Taylor. “Success takes for someone to understand that not everyone is destined to be with you on your journey. Unfortunately, that means some of your friends will look at you funny. In that moment, you have to persevere and follow your dreams.”
Taylor quickly learned that if he were to become successful, he had to keep his faith in God strong and obtain proper discernment deciphering between honest and untrustworthy people.
“The biggest obstacle that I had to overcome in life was trusting people,” said Taylor. “I have mastered this by understanding that everyone may not be a part of my journey towards success. I also need to improve my communication skills. It is essential for success in my profession.”
For help overcoming obstacles and persevering, Taylor looks toward his religion.
“A Bible verse that keeps me motivated is Psalms 30:5, and it says,‘ For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life, weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning,’” said Taylor. “The most important message I received is that at the end of the day everything will be alright.”
Taylor continues to work towards his goal to become the Associate Vice President of Student Services at a four-year state public institution of higher education. With God, his grandmother and his mentors in his corner, he believes the sky is the limit as long as his foundation remains strong.