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Taylor Walton

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Bio

I'm a life-long learner, environmental justice advocate, and aspiring business owner. I've worked in the sustainability consulting industry for eight years, and I'm ready for the next chapter in my professional and educational journey. I volunteer for the ACLU of Oregon as a Legal Observer, so social justice and climate action are very close to my heart. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I learned to appreciate the beauty and importance of a healthy, biodiverse environment at a young age, and that passion has only grown. I grew up in a small rural community and spent much of my childhood catching snakes and frogs, building treehouses, running around in cornfields, and playing in grain silos. Although my family was hard-working, middle-class, I only had the option of loans to pay for college in 2009. Debt from just my first year of college has crippled the completion of my undergrad for over ten years now. Every term, I chip away and pay for one class out of pocket; any scholarship awarded is so greatly appreciated and needed. Thank you! -Taylor Walton

Education

Portland Community College

Associate's degree program
2009 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Biological and Physical Sciences

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Environmental Services

    • Dream career goals:

      Company Founder

    • Senior Outreach Sales Representative

      3Degrees Group, Inc
      2013 – Present11 years

    Sports

    Cross-Country Running

    Varsity
    2005 – 20083 years

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2005 – 20083 years

    Basketball

    Varsity
    2005 – 20083 years

    Soccer

    Junior Varsity
    2005 – 20072 years

    Research

    • Environmental Sciences

      Portland State University — Researcher
      2009 – 2010

    Arts

    • Orchestra

      Music
      2005 – 2009

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Oregon Zoo — Zooteen
      2007 – 2009
    • Volunteering

      Democratic Party of Washington County — Voter Registration Volunteer
      2013 – 2015
    • Volunteering

      Sierra Club — Event Outreach Education
      2015 – 2017
    • Volunteering

      ACLU — Legal Observer
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Ace Spencer Rubin Scholarship
    I was 24 years old when I had my first stroke; I was just about to begin my workday when I started feeling "off." At the time, I couldn't explain to my boss what was going on or how I felt. Jumbled words came out of my mouth, not matching the thoughts in my head. My boss could tell something was wrong, and shortly afterward, I found myself confused and frustrated in the hospital. A "minor" ischemic stroke was the diagnosis. How had this happened? Why did this happen? I had so many questions but was unfortunately sent home with medical advice along the lines of "you're otherwise young and healthy. We're not sure why this happened. Take an aspirin a day, and you should be just fine." This was a frustrating scenario to face, and for years following the stroke, I continued to have complications. I was 27 when I had my second stroke, this one was not "minor," I lost full mobility of my left side and also had a stroke in my eye called branch retinal artery occlusion. This left me about 50% blind and needing several months of intensive occupational and physical therapy. It was only after this more severe stroke that they discovered a large primary heart tumor called a myxoma. I needed open-heart surgery as soon as possible. I don't quite know how to explain what the aftermath of open-heart surgery feels like, it's never something I thought I would have to go through at such a young age. Living with a disability after 2 strokes (technically 3 if you include the one in my eye) and open-heart surgery has taught me to never take life, people, or experiences for granted. Every day can feel like a struggle, but honestly, I'm just happy to still be here. I'm ecstatic to spend time with my friends and family and hear their laughter... and their whining; let's be honest, personal relationships arent without struggle and turmoil. I also just don't take myself, or "life" in general too seriously, it can all be gone in minutes as was almost the case for myself. Winning this scholarship would not only aid me in reaching my educational goals, but it would really help me to believe in myself a bit more and validate my worth in a way. I know that sounds weird to admit but it's true, I've applied to over 50 scholarships over the past couple of years (I haven't won any,) but never once have I written about my experience having a stroke and OHS. In a way just writing this was therapeutic and I truly hope you consider selecting me as the winner.
    New Year, New Opportunity Scholarship
    I'm a vibrant, unique, jump out of bed in the morning kind of person. At only 30 years old I've survived 2 ischemic brain strokes, a stroke in my eye (leaving me ~50% blind), and open-heart surgery. I'm determined to not have my past define my future, which is why I went back to school. Backing down and giving up is not in my playbook and I will do whatever it takes to achieve my dreams of a college degree and a career in sustainability, involving environmental/social justice initiatives a the forefront.