Alexia “Ally” Taylor of San Clemente is the winner of the prestigious 2017 Father Ernest D. Sillers Legacy Award from St. Mary’s School which honors a student who demonstrates superior leadership skill, evidence of service and civic responsibility. Active in leadership and philanthropic roles at school, church and in her community, Ally is an inspiration to everyone who knows her and aspires to make a difference.
“I am very blessed,” she said. “I love my community, I go to the best school, and I have an amazing family. Sharing my good fortune with others who are not as lucky as I am motivates me to give back to my community.”
Community service often comes in the form of working with children. As a member of the Laguna Chapter of the National Charity League, Ally participates in Sunshine Readers to read story books to very young children at the public library. She has learned to keep young listeners engaged in the stories by using different character voices. “Sunshine Readers has really improved my public speaking skills and self-confidence – things that I can apply to any area in my life,” she said. “The best part, though, is having the kids smile and ask me to read them another book when I finish the first!”
Her love for working with children extends into her school activities as well. Through St. Mary’s, Ally recently embarked on a service learning trip to Costa Rica where she worked at Monte Sion School in the Bribri region. Ally and her fellow students painted classrooms and built garden structures and beehives as part of a health and sustainability education project to teach the local children about the importance of bees and their role in growing food. She counts that trip among her fondest memories and greatest accomplishments to date. “The people there were so grateful and involved in the process,” she said. “It was wonderful knowing they were so dedicated to improving their community and so eager to help every step of the way.”
Ally will be attending St. Margaret’s Episcopal School starting in August. “St. Mary’s has prepared me to pursue leadership roles and activities in high school. I want to be a doctor, and I especially want to help children, so I’m interested in becoming an OB/GYN or surgeon. I really believe in doing something meaningful.”