Ranked first in her class, a committed student-athlete and a volunteer with over 200 community service hours, Nicole Taylor has certainly learned how to manage her time wisely during her time at Graves County High School.
Whether on the greens with the GCHS golf team, serving as Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) president or interning at Gibson's Pharmacy, the senior gives it her all.
"I've really tried to give back during my time in high school and always be involved in something," she said.
Serving as a mentor and tutor for freshman, volunteering at the Needline Food Pantry in Mayfield, painting bowls with the Empty Bowls Project, collecting money with the Salvation Army Bell Ringers, and helping organize Starfish Orphan Ministries facilities are a few of the community outreach projects Taylor has been involved in during her high school years.
"I think serving in the community is a great opportunity to grow as a person," she said. "I've been able to work at the food pantry and see how blessed I've been in my life. I just want to be able to give back to people less fortunate than I am. It has helped me be the leader that I am."
Taylor, the daughter of Tim and Tracy Taylor of Mayfield, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday in the online edition and Tuesday in the print edition, The Sun features a teen selected from nominees submitted by guidance counselors throughout the region. Near the end of the school year, one of the students profiled will be named Teen of the Year and receive a $5,000 scholarship. An additional student will be chosen for an Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
Taylor said two of her main driving forces are her faith and her family.
"I want to do all I can to represent my faith and family well," she said. "The reason why I do all of these thing is to show others the love of Christ."
Taylor has been named captain of the GCHS varsity golf team four years in a row and holds several school records - only freshman girl to ever reach state tournament as an individual, most tournament wins, lowest match average, most top-five finishes, best finish at Region 1 Tournament and best finish at the Girls Golf State Championship.
She also went to nationals and placed first at the FCCLA Region 1 Sports Nutrition Competitive Event. She's been on the Honor Roll each year, has an ACT composite score of 31 and was a Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Nominee.
Taylor will attend Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, next fall and play on the women's golf team while working through a six-year pharmacy program. She would like to earn a doctorate of pharmacy and pursue a career as a clinical pharmacist.
"My goal is to be a student-athlete for the first four years at Union," Taylor said. "I want to be able to prove that it's possible to juggle college and being an athlete. I want to give others confidence that it's possible and they can do it."
She also said she wants to be successful in her role as a pharmacist, which for her, means helping people daily.
"I want to know I'm making an impact and building relationships with people in my career," she said.