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Derrick Taylor

Derrick TaylorMajor: Political Science
Class of 2016

by Bethany Bonner '15

In a world constantly evolving with increasing demands and troubles, strong, passionate leaders are essential in assuring societal stability and the maintenance of resources and human rights. Kutztown University is home to many of these types of students, and Derrick Taylor is one of them. Taylor, a sophomore transfer, is studying political science in hopes that he can one day serve as a voice to the people.

At the age of 14, he saw the chance to make a difference and became a part of Philadelphia Youth Ambassadors, where he advocated for the best interest of the young people of Philadelphia. He also became involved with Philadelphia Freedom Schools, an organization which strives to teach youth the importance of hard work, integrity, and being a part of bettering their community. The association with these groups ignited the flame within to continue striving for optimal communal conditions for all, and Taylor saw political science as his educational path in achieving that.

After taking a tour, Taylor decided to transfer after seeing the wonderful things Kutztown has to offer. He mingled with staff and faculty, and his eyes were opened to the future.

"The first thing I saw at Kutztown was opportunity," recalls Taylor. "The staff and faculty won't let you fail. They'll push you to your limit and then increase your limit and push you further. You are somebody. It's a loving environment here. You can come here and draw out your own picture. That's why I chose KU."

Taylor did not waste any time getting involved upon his arrival in Kutztown, joining first the BSU (Black Student Union). He was instrumental in bringing a student chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) to KU's campus and currently heads the chapter as president. The NAACP's goal, Taylor says, is to "unite people of all cultures because to move forward to get where we want to be, we have to work together." Taylor also takes part in helping with on-campus functions through ACE (Association of Campus Events).

Among some of his favorite experiences at Kutztown so far include meeting and collaborating with fellow student leaders, helping facilitate the CONNECTIONS program, and being a part of bringing the NAACP to Kutztown. He also is grateful for being able to work alongside Benjamin Jealous during his visit at Kutztown. Jealous is an American political and civic leader, who served as the former president and chief executive officer of NAACP.

For his future, Derrick Taylor has laid out a 20-year plan. His goals include graduate school, becoming a lawyer, and running for the position of mayor in Philadelphia and possibly even governor.

Taylor credits the organizations he participates in, and the many experiences he has had, with the development of his leadership skills. He stresses the significance of becoming active on campus.

"When you get here, prioritize. Get out of your room. Network, make new friends, and join organizations. This is a place of opportunity."

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