Unsung Hero: Dar’riel Taylor nominated for brightening futures of younger generations
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The celebration continues as 19 News and the Cleveland Public Library honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are highlighting local Unsung Heroes who live their lives honoring the teachings of the Civil Rights leader.
UNSUNG HERO: Dar’riel Taylor
Dar’riel Taylor is rising above the daily challenges in her community.
Despite those struggles, she’s determined to create a better future for a younger generation.
“I have seen a few people get shot in front of my face... The experience is traumatizing.”
“I have seen a few people get shot in front of my face,” said 18-year-old Dar’riel Taylor. “The experience is traumatizing.”
It’s traumatizing for a teen who said she just wants to be the positive change in her community.
“You have to worry about a lot,” said Taylor. “When you walk outside you have to keep looking back everywhere you go, you feel like somebody is following you.”
Taylor is faced with daily challenges, and shared what a better community look like for her.
“A community that comes together, not only for one in death or a balloon release for a funeral,” she stated.
The high school student said she sees hope and feels happiness when she steps inside the doors at The Friendly Inn, a Cleveland community center.
“You need a mentor, someone you can look up to within your neighborhood so you can do amazing things that may not necessarily be bestowed within the four walls of your school.”
She said the children help her forget about sadness in her Cleveland neighborhood that at times can be overwhelming.
Their smiles bring her joy.
“Without this job or working with these kids, I would be so depressed,” said Taylor. “I just want them to know that I love them and they really make me happy.”
Taylor’s been a summer camp counselor for The Friendly Inn, and they were so impressed with her that she’s now one of their youth group leaders, working with kids in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“I love her personality and she’s a good woman, she’s nice, she’s kind,” said fifth grader Diamond Quinn.
“She does a lot of stuff for us, she’s like a big sister to everybody,” said sixth grader Ryan Fluker.
Taylor was also recognized at the Mycom Youth Voice Awards, and nominated as an Unsung Hero by the Cleveland Public Library.
“She’s an amazing example,” said Maria Estrella, Public Services Manager for the Cleveland Public Library. “You need a mentor, someone you can look up to within your neighborhood so you can do amazing things that may not necessarily be bestowed within the four walls of your school.”
This Unsung Hero said her dream is to be the difference, using her voice to make that change and educate others so that everyone has the opportunity to thrive in their community.
“Knowledge is the key to success, and without knowledge, you won’t have the key to success,” said Taylor.
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