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Taylor Adams

1515

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am working on my undergraduate in Liberal Arts and Sciences. My areas of emphasis are History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies. I feel this combination of concentrations has helped to provide me with a unique and multifaceted perspective when studying historical events. I am currently looking into graduate school either for History or Library Sciences with a preference for Archival Studies. Or possibly a graduate degree in History and a post graduate certification in Archival Studies. The plan is still quite loose. I’m incredibly interested in history, culture, language, and politics. As both areas of academic study and as a hobby. Beyond that, I enjoy reading, hiking, yoga, video games, tabletop gaming; and movies or tv shows with great stories and characters.

Education

Western Illinois University

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Political Science and Government
    • History
  • Minors:
    • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Library and Archives Assisting
    • History and Political Science
    • Anthropology
    • Cultural Studies/Critical Theory and Analysis
    • Ethnic Studies
    • Legal Professions and Studies, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Research

    • Dream career goals:

      To continue to learn and inspire others to learn.

    • ABA Therapist

      Private family
      2019 – 20201 year
    • Assistant Store Manager

      The Body Shop
      2004 – 20084 years
    • Consignment Pricing Lead

      Stuff Etc.
      2012 – 20164 years
    • Assistant Store Leader

      GameStop
      2015 – 20194 years

    Arts

    • Photography
      2002 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Independence Camp — Councilor and later Councilor trainer
      1996 – 2001

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Online Learning Innovator Scholarship
    My school has a wonderful, if properly utilized system for its online classes, that is referred to as WesternOnline. However, I am not sure WesternOnline is simply a service supported by a larger company or proprietary. The convince of having links to articles, YouTube or other videos, and a lecture or PowerPoint all in one place is incredible. As a history major my professors have linked us to several different universities archives, as well as online access to the universities libraries and archives. As a student who has struggled with Anxiety, ADHD, and Post- Covid Agoraphobia, the ability to take the online classes that I have has saved my academic career. Where I have always struggled in traditional classroom settings I am excelling online. My GPA prior to trying online classes was something like a 2.4 and I ended up leaving school believing I just could t do it. Ten years later I returned to my former University and this time I have take exclusivity online classes. My GPA since returning is a 3.8. Which is raising my overall GPA to a place that may allow me to go to graduate school, something I never thought I’d have the chance to do. As a student with various disabilities there are definite accessibility benefits. I can pause a lecture if I’m feeling anxious or like I need to move around. I can work on my classes at 4am. I can also use voice to text to help me write papers and other materials when I can’t focus on typing. I have found chrome browser add ons that clear out the adds and other things so that you can easily print a news article or document. There are also a bevy of apps and websites devoted to online tutoring. That may be in the form of an app like like Khan Academy, to something like personal tutoring through zoom. An additional benefit that I have found, which may not apply to all classes, is that there are some professors who post the entirety of the course material at the beginning of the semester allowing you to set your own pace. In two separate classes I’ve gotten six weeks ahead because of this. Overall I am a huge proponent of online schooling. As long as you have the discipline to do the readings and can keep up with the schedule, the format could be really helpful to others who have similar accessibility needs, so they too can realize their actual potential.
    Eden Alaine Memorial Scholarship
    My grandmother was born in the 1920s and by the time I was born in mid-85 she’d already raised seven children. My mother being the youngest and only 19. This meant that a lot of my upbringing was left to my grandmother. I spent every minute I could with her, as her age was already advanced when I was born. She was an incredible woman who loved and accepted me as myself completely. She was a volunteer and would spend her time delivering groceries to those in need. She supported my grandfather through two wars, graduate school, and then moving their family all over Europe so he could serve as a principal at the DOD schools. Later when they moved back the Illinois she supported my grandfather in becoming Galesburg high school’s principal and later the areas superintendent. In exchange he indulged her love of the symphony, the theater, public service, and in various other areas that were meaningful to her. My grandparents were an incredible team. They had been married for nearly 60 years before my grandfather started to show signs of dementia. It was heartbreaking to go through that with my grandmother. It wasn’t long after he was moved into a care center that she suddenly became ill. Not to say she had been the picture of health prior to that, but several illnesses escalated quickly and she ended up passing on February 23, 2008 at 11:40 PM. My grandfather lived a few more years as his dementia progressed until he eventually passed as well. I have never been the same since I lost them. Especially my grandmother. They were the closest people I had to parents and I was, at 23, alone, broke, and terrified. I tried to go to school because I knew that’s what they had wanted, but the trauma of their passings ended up being too much and I ended up with a horrible GPA and because I was such a mess emotionally and without a support system I had to leave school. I spent the next decade working, struggling, eventually going to therapy to try to piece myself back together. Once I felt stable and strong enough I went back to school. Since I’ve been back I know I’ve done them proud. My GPA since I’ve been back is a 3.8. These high grades have slowly been raising my overall GPA. I’m now in a place where graduate school is a possibility. I now study and may end up teaching the wars my grandfather fought in and rights of women like my grandmother, who was married with several children before she could legally open her own bank account. Whatever it is I end up doing I just want to make them proud of me. Last year I was going through paperwork and found a small orange post it note written in my grandfather’s very distinctive handwriting that said, “We’re betting on you- Grandpa and Grandma.” I look at that note daily and it inspires me to keep going even when I feel alone and scared of the future. Eventually I want to have that quote in his handwriting, which I always thought was so cool, tattooed on me. I don’t want to ever loose that reminder of what we were to each other. Now that I am finally achieving the academic success that was horribly hindered by grief the first time around, I feel so honored and overwhelmed with emotion that I am already making them proud.
    Ryan T. Herich Memorial Scholarship
    I absolutely love history and storytelling. A good historian should alway be a good storyteller. Since a young age I’ve asked too many questions and had too many opinions. My dad has his bachelors in History and I grew up going to lectures with him, helping him study, and memorizing speeches. Officially my degree is in Liberal Arts and Science. Meaning I am studying History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies. Three areas of study that are incredibly intertwined, especially if you wish to paint a full and vibrant portrait of an event or time period. I also study geography as an hobby and have always loved maps. I have answered several questions as to why something happened or didn’t happen and the answer is often geography, or politics. Understanding of the ways in which cultural and social aspects may shape a society will help you to better interpret the items, buildings and writings we find with the proper context. Leading to a deeper and more profound understanding. I hope to get my masters after I complete my bachelor’s degree. My masters would likely be in World History, however I am very interested in library science, specifically archival studies. The preservation of some of the texts and images we have is so incredibly important. Imagine if the Library of Alexandria had had backups. I hope that someday I would be lucky enough to contribute my perspective as a woman and a woman of color within the field of history. A field that has long been dominated by a particular demographic. I want to travel, I want to practice the languages I have been working on, I want to see incredible architecture, and experience new cultures. Overall, I want to learn everything I can about what has happened on this endlessly interesting planet. I want to use my passion for history and culture to teach others, maybe not in the traditional way, but in my own way. I want to inspire people with stories. Share history with them that can either make them laugh or cry. Most importantly I want to show people that history is not a boring topic, it’s sometimes partially verifiable gossip. And that’s what’s so wonderful about it. The general interest is there for so many people, but unfortunately too many dull, endless lectures led people to the belief that that was all history had to offer. When told in a different way stories of the past can be incredibly powerful, deeply emotional, and awe inspiring. While others can be downright hilarious or showcase the endless strange parts of our world. Our past can also serve as vital cautionary tales; times when we as a collective world at large learned something important together. I deeply hope that I am one day I am afforded the opportunity to preserve, protect, and share our history in a way that makes people excited to learn.
    Joseph C. Lowe Memorial Scholarship
    I love history and storytelling. A good historian should alway be a good storyteller. Since a young age I’ve asked too many questions and had too many opinions. My dad has his bachelors in History and I grew up going to lectures with him, helping him study, and memorizing speeches. Officially my degree is in Liberal Arts and Science. Meaning I am studying History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies. Three areas of study that are incredibly intertwined, especially if you wish to paint a full and vibrant portrait of an event or time period. I hope to get my masters after I complete my bachelor’s degree. My masters would likely be in World History, however I am very interested in library science, specifically archival studies. The preservation of some of the texts we have is so incredibly important. Imagine if the Library of Alexandria had had backups. I hope that someday I would be lucky enough to contribute my perspective as a woman and a woman of color within the field of history. A field that has long been dominated by a particular demographic. One of my philosophies on life is that learning from every possible source, and then exercising critical thinking is the best way to grow as a person. I am also big on assisting those who are in need of someone to advocate for them. I want to travel, I want to practice the languages I have been working on, I want to see incredible architecture, and overall I want to learn everything I can about what happened in this interesting and exciting place we were so fortunate to be born here to. I want to use my passion for history and culture to teach others, maybe not in the traditional way but in my own way. I want to inspire people with stories. Share history with them that can either make them laugh or cry. Most importantly I want to show people that History is not a boring topic, it’s sometimes partially verifiable gossip. And that’s what’s so wonderful about it. The interest is there in so many people but unfortunately too many dull, endless lectures led people to the belief that that was all history had to offer. When told the correct way the stories of the past can be incredibly powerful, deeply emotional, and awe inspiring. And others can be downright hilarious and showcase the strange. Our past can also serve as vital cautionary tales. A collection of the times when the world at large learned together. I truly hope that I am one day afforded the chance to preserve, protect, and share our history.
    STAR Scholarship - Students Taking Alternative Routes
    My current main goal is to graduate with my degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. My areas of emphasis are History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies. All areas that are exceptionally intertwined. I truly feel that to understand one of these subjects fully you must have at least a base understanding of the others. This muti-faceted approach helps provide the proper context for a number of events, while also keeping the most vulnerable populations in mind. I hope to have the time to continue on to grad school when I am finished with my bachelors. Possibly perusing a masters in world history at my current university. And then possibly Archival studies. I just want to keep studying! My goal has always been to learn from every possible source, while also assisting those who are in need of someone to advocate for them. Now I come to the heavy part of the story: my fiancé, who has been the main breadwinner for nearly 17 years, currently has brain cancer. He is still working 50+ hours a week even though we know it’s not sustainable, nor is it healthy. We went through a surgery nearly a year and a half ago, and it’s growing back. So right now finishing a career will absolutely change my life trajectory. I need to finish my degree/s so that I can work at a job that offers insurance. That pays somewhat comparative to his job. That we can both survive on. Because eventually he will not be able to work. If I am not able to work by then we will be in a lot of trouble. His parents, and most of his close family, are no longer living. While mine are here, but they continue to disappoint even during a crisis of this nature. My fiancé was a writer, an alumni of Western even. But the tumor was in his speech and language areas. Amazingly he was awake through the procedure, telling them all about his book he’s writing. Since the surgery he’s had several cognitive issues that affect his ability to write, to do what he loves, and it’s devastating. We wanted to travel, we wanted to have adventures, a wedding- but there isn’t time or money for that anymore. Through all of this I have learned how to be stronger than I thought I ever could be, I’ve learned to hide my tears, I’ve learned that every moment with him is so incredibly precious. And I think most of all I’ve learned how much I love him, and just how devastating the idea of us not growing old together is. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but we are doing the best we can. Even when we’re both terrified. Right now all I can do is focus on doing the best I can in school so that I can provide for us if or when it comes to that. Beyond that, he has said that he wants me to finish school. So he knows I can take care of myself when he’s gone, which is a very hard sentence to type. He has told me that my achievements since I’ve been back in school have made him so proud and he feels so much less scared for me and my future as well as his own. Meaning my ability to successfully finish school and find a career is something that our livelihoods depend on.
    Sharra Rainbolt Memorial Scholarship
    Winner
    My goal has always been to learn from every possible source, while also assisting those who are in need of someone to advocate for them. However, I have recently run out of funding with three semesters left. I have no savings, no job and not much hope at the moment. My fiancé who has been the main breadwinner for nearly 18 years now currently has brain cancer. He is still working 50+ hours a week even though we know it’s not sustainable, but we need the money. He went through brain surgery nearly a year and a half ago, and unfortunately the tumors are growing back. I need to finish my degree/s so that I can work at a job that offers insurance. That pays somewhat comparative to his job. That we can both survive on. Because eventually he will not be able to work. If I am not able to find meaningful employment by then we will be in a world of trouble. His parents, and most of his close family, are no longer living. While mine are here, but they continue to disappoint even during a crisis of this nature. My fiancé was a writer, an alumni of Western even. But the tumor was in his speech and language areas. Amazingly he was awake through the procedure, telling them all about his book he’s writing. Since the surgery he’s had mild cognitive issues that affect his ability to write, to do what he loves, and it’s devastating. We wanted to travel, we wanted to have adventures, I had just started planning our wedding- but there isn’t time or money for that anymore. My experience with all of this is so difficult to explain this experience to anyone other than someone who has gone through it themselves. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but we are doing the best we can. Even when we’re both terrified. Right now all I can do is focus on doing the best I can in school so that I can provide for us if or when it comes to that. Beyond that he’s said he wants to know I can take care of myself when he’s gone and by going to school and doing so well he feels less scared for at least that small part of our lives. I have learned how to be stronger than I thought I ever could be, I’ve learned to hide my tears, I’ve learned that every moment with him is so important. I’ve learned who my true friends are, and which family members are truly there for us. But I think most of all I’ve learned how much I love him, how much I want to be with him, and just how devastating the idea of us not growing old together is.