My role model: Teylor Reid
By Megan on November 8th, 2012
It’s National Role Models Month! We’re celebrating the people in our lives who make us want to be better people with a series dedicated to them, their positive attitudes, and their work. This is the first installment.
I admire many people in my life. There’s that really intelligent colleague who produces excellent work and says all the right things at all the right times. There’s that fabulous friend who is always thinkng up new adventures and discovering the hippest new places to try. And there’s my mother whose perpetual happiness and sunny disposition makes her normal speaking voice sound more like singing. I am impressed by these people and look to them for advice, inspiration, and example every day.
But when I really thought hard about who it is I consider a role model, no one sets a better example than my 20-year-old cousin Teylor. Teylor is a young lady with autism, and she faces everyday challenges that most people her age do not, yet she greets each experience with a smile as wide as Texas and an unparalleled, infectious enthusiasm. You think you work hard? With a weekly schedule that’s packed to the brim with volunteering, riding, music lessons, and jewelry-making, Teylor is one of the most productive people I know. She can play the drums, is a proficient horseback rider, and she makes beautiful handmade jewelry which she sells in her community. (50% of her jewelry sales go to The Arc of North Central Va.) Teylor lives with her family in Virginia, and I wish I could see her more often. But every time my family visits or we see each other around the holidays, I can count on Teylor to crack a joke about my dad, tickle my 22-year-old brother until he squeals, and show me with incredible focus and dedication the latest project she is hard at work on.
On top of that, Teylor just got hired at a part-time job at a local restaurant, a monumental achievement for someone who is autistic and visually impaired. The unemployment rate of persons with autism is nearly 80%, making Teylor truly exceptional (and this is just one of the many ways!) I am so proud to call her my cousin and am excited to watch as she continues to achieve great things.
I can’t write about Teylor without mentioning her mother, my aunt Linda, who is truly in a league of her own. She’s the kind of mother who’s bathing the dog with one hand and flipping pancakes with the other—her constant energy, intelligence, and positivity astounds me. If you’re wondering where Teylor gets her effervescent grin from, look no further. Aunt Linda was kind enough to share some pictures of Teylor—enjoy. And please, share with us who your role model is!
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