BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – When your mother is your biggest cheerleader, you become confident that God’s plan for you is greater than the plan that you have for yourself. Taylor Gent has the unwavering support of her mother, who has been by her side pushing her to continue achieving and keeping her eyes on the prize ahead. This support has landed mom as her number one fan throughout all of her years of school.
Taylor expresses thanks to her mom for always having hope and faith in her and always being there when she felt alone. Her mom became the reason for her accomplishments, and her latest one was graduating from The Boca Ciega High School last month.
Her parents, Henry and Alethea Gent, could not be more proud of her.
“Taylor is very passionate and determined to reach every goal,” stated her mom. “She is a caring person and ambitious in everything she does. She is my best blessing and I am so proud to call her my baby girl, my daughter.”
At Boca Ciega, Taylor played wide receiver and cornerback on the varsity flag football team, who played in district finals. She joined JROTC where she received the determination and leadership award, professionalism, recognition and representation awards and the outstanding cadet award. She also was awarded the Dr. Mac J. Williams Academic Excellence Award.
In the community, Taylor was a member of the AKA Akademy, a Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church ushers and Pure Expressions praise dancers.
“To everyone who has supported me throughout these past four years, thank you. Thank you for always being there for me and encouraging me to strive forward,” said Taylor. “Thank you for seeing my potential when I didn’t see it for myself. To anyone who may be struggling or thinking about quitting in whatever you do, keep going. Pray about it and always strive for greatness.”
The days and weeks in school got long for Taylor and became challenging. She began to struggle with test anxiety, stress, procrastination and meeting deadlines. It wore thin on her self-esteem. She prayed and asked for guidance. Through every obstacle in high school, she overcame them with her family, close friends and God by her side.
Taylor has two interesting facts about her that others may not know.
“I have a strong passion for caring for the homeless. A long-term goal of mine is to open a homeless shelter,” she said. “I’m thankful for the support that I have and strength to help somebody else. I also really enjoy learning about different cultures. Our differences are what make us better.”
This summer, Taylor will be leaving to attend Florida A&M in Tallahassee where she will study pre-medicine. Her plan is to further her education in graduate school, eventually becoming a pediatric oncologic surgeon.