The voice of the student.

Ray’s Reflection: Taylor Drott

I began high school like any other freshman; scared and didn’t fit in. I clung to my old middle school friends, and tried to find anything I could that felt inside of my comfort zone. I continued on like this until I learned about my first two service clubs: Key Club and Interact. I decided to join both to make new friends and learn about service. Within Key Club, I learned how to serve my local community. I was able to participate in some of my favorite things, like helping kids through parents night out or walking on the beach through beach cleanups. I had a slight glimpse of service and the connections that I would begin to make. 

Interact also showed me what service is, but in a different way. Interact began where all of the members would squish into Miss Scott’s office and we would discuss ways to do in-school service events and activities. Interact always felt like a family, and every service event brought us closer. Through Interact I baked for bake sales and helped put on other events such as our Halloween Festival. Both of these clubs allowed me to take a step outside of my comfort zone, and learn what MIA is all about. 

As I was just starting to find my place, COVID hit. COVID impacted half of my freshman year and crept into my sophomore year. Everyone wore face shields, and it was a whole new atmosphere that I had to get used to. Even with COVID making its impact, service in our school and community never stopped. Key Club resumed with events at a distance and meetings held through videos. Interact also resumed, but this time in a classroom setting. I, yet again, fought to find my place and learned how to help my school and community, even during these trying times. 

Junior and senior year came along quickly, and there was another switch in the atmosphere; a new building was built for us. This sudden change in place allowed for me to step up in everything I was already involved in. In both Key Club and Interact I stepped up and became a part of leadership. I was elected onto the council for Interact in both my junior and senior year. Within Key Club, I was elected Vice President my junior year and President my senior year. 

It wasn’t just my service clubs that I made a change and impact in, but also my soccer team. I have been playing soccer since I was in elementary school, and I worked to become a leader on my soccer team by becoming captain both my junior and senior years of high school. I was able to mentor new soccer players, and teach them a game I have been playing since I was 7 years old. 

In my upperclassmen years, I began to really find my faith through groups outside of the school, such as Youth Group, and in school clubs, like FCA. I used both of these as outlets and learned to strengthen my faith. 

Everything that I have done in high school has shaped me and I don’t want to stop here. I will be attending Flagler College in the fall, and I want to continue to stay involved. Before committing to Flagler I looked into their service organizations. I found that they have an FCV club, which stands for Flagler College Volunteers. They volunteer in their local community, while also traveling across the world to communities who need volunteer help. Flagler also has an FCA club, so I can still have that same outlet, and continue to strengthen my faith. 

At Flagler I plan on studying hospitality and tourism management. In hospitality you have to help people, which is what I learned to love in high school. I have also dreamed of traveling and gaining new experience and perspectives, which is exactly what the tourist aspect will help me achieve. 

With all of the experience that I have gained, I have a few words of advice for any underclassmen. I dove right into MIA and became involved in the service aspect; I found my passion. You should not be afraid to get involved in as much as you can, so you can learn what you love. You are only in high school once, so make the best of it!

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