Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! of the Month — Taylor Richardson — July 2016

By Catherine Cheng, AKOM Writer
Taylor Richardson, 13-year-old Mars Generation Student Ambassador

 

Quote of the Month

“We all have something unique and important about us so share it with the world. You never know who you might inspire just with a kind word, hug, or book.”
– Taylor Richardson, 13-year-old Mars Generation Student Ambassador

July Amazing Kid! of the Month

July is an exciting month since school is now only a foggy memory and summer is in full swing. This is the time for beach visits, spontaneous hangouts, and backyard barbeque sessions. This is the season for fun, friendship, and laughter filled memories. Summer’s happiness, however, is a dish best savored with others. This July, rest well, sleep in, and be generous to those you care about. Let your dreams spill from your soul and inspire those around you.

Taylor Richardson is someone who loves sharing her dreams with others. She has her eyes set on outer space and aspires to be the first person to walk on Mars. Back here on Earth, though, she spreads her passion by collecting books for under-served children and participating in various service activities.

Keep reading to find out more about Taylor Richardson and her dreams!

Taylor Richardson poses in her blue astronaut suit for her 2016 Youth in Action headshot.

Taylor Richardson poses in her blue astronaut suit for her 2016 Youth in Action headshot.

Shooting For Space

Taylor Richardson has her eyes on the universe. Ever since a young age, she knew she loved space and made her goal to go to Mars someday. In order to start achieving her goal, she did some research and found out about Mars Generation. That started everything!

The Mars Generation was created so that those who love space and Mars would have a way to meet people with similar interests. In the organization, collaborative energy and a supportive environment make sharing dreams exciting and easy. Currently, Taylor is a student ambassador for the organization and it is her job to inform people about the program and its mission. Previously, she advertised a program called “Train like an Astronaut” and she hopes that her efforts will be able to excite young people and adults about space exploration and STEAM.

Taylor Richardson stands in front of an Aviation Challenge poster at space camp.

Taylor Richardson stands in front of an Aviation Challenge poster at space camp.

One of Taylor’s idols is Dr. Mae Jemison, an American physician and NASA astronaut. Taylor hopes that she will one day be able to meet Dr. Mae Jemison and aspires to follow in Jemison’s footsteps by becoming an accomplished astronaut. For Taylor, being an astronaut would be super cool because she believes that life exists beyond Earth and that certain planets may be suitable for housing human life. She loves science, space, and life, and is definitely not afraid to dream big.

What impresses us most, however, is Taylor’s willingness to share her dreams with others. She says she’s most proud of being able to inspire other people and hopes that even if one day she does not become an astronaut herself, she will have inspired the next kid to do so.

Universal Communication

Back on Earth, Taylor is equally busy. She has been given many awards for community service and recently received the Point of Light award as an honoree and the Champion of Service award. In fact, she got to meet the Governor of Florida for the latter award and cites the experience as “amazing.” Ultimately though, Taylor notes that when she gives back, she makes sure she is acting from the heart and not because she desires some form of recognition.

Taylor Richardson receives the Champion of Service award from Florida Governor and staff.

Taylor Richardson receives the Champion of Service award from Florida Governor and staff.

Taylor’s biggest service mission involves increasing the literacy rate in America. In order to do this, Taylor started a program called “Take Flight with A Book,” which focuses on helping under-served children access reading material. Through her book drives, she has raised over 500 books. She hopes that by giving children books, she will be able to encourage them to read more, go to the library, and spend time exploring books of their interest. Currently, she is on her third book drive and is collecting books to give to various organizations in Jacksonville.

Literacy has a special meaning to Taylor. When she was younger, she did not read well. However, because her mother was always supportive and assisted Taylor by reading aloud to her and providing her with audiobooks, she eventually became an avid reader. She believes everyone should be able to read because books inspire people to dream big. This belief is what motivates her to read to children and promote proactive engagement with books.

Taylor Richardson and various aged children at one of her book readings.

Taylor Richardson and various aged children at one of her book readings.

Amazing Kids! agrees with her assessment as language is a uniquely human way to communicate. Books are collections of words that traverse time and space to connect various humans with one another. Books inspire.

This is our Generation

Taylor lives by her belief in the possibility of change. In her words, “we still live in a wonderful world where we can still make a change and do what’s right for all people.” In her own way, she is breaking molds and spreading positivity. By sharing her love for space and books, she is guiding countless other kids and becoming an inspiration for all. We hope she will continue to do great things.

In the end, learning to support one another isn’t an easy task. All of us have had moments where it’s easier to eat the whole cake by ourselves rather than share with a friend. Sometimes we just love something so much that we can’t bear the thought of someone taking it away from us. As a result, try your best to remember that there is power in joining together and cooperating. Life is not a competition. Rather, we are one generation working as a whole towards a better world and a brighter tomorrow. July, the middle summer month, is filled with fun and laughter and is perhaps the best reminder that our friends will always be there to support and share our dreams.