In May, Blake Taylor ’13 headed to Mexico to spend his summer working with orphans in Oaxaca as part of an internship with ProWorld. He is fluent in Spanish and is teaching the language to children in the orphanage, as well as developing other programs for them.
Taylor cites many reasons for choosing this internship. He has participated in the Boy Scouts and America Reads and enjoyed opportunities to work with children and to be a role model for others. However, this program is also a sort of homecoming for him. Born in Honduras, he was adopted and brought to the United States when he was three. Prior to being adopted, he was in foster care.
“It isn’t one of those things that you remember, but you know it definitely affected you. As I got older, I realized that I wanted to go back and help kids who are in a worse place than I was,” he said prior to leaving in May. ” I am returning home, but I am also helping build the community because it starts with the kids. It’s pretty big for me, and I’m nervous, but I am also very excited.”
He first learned about the ProWorld program during a summer service trip to Peru in high school and has been interested in it ever since. ProWorld’s mission is “to empower communities, promote social and economic development, conserve the environment, and cultivate educated compassionate global citizens.”
So far, Oaxaca has been exactly the experience Taylor was looking for. “It has been challenging beyond my imagination, but I am definitely reconnecting with my Latin American roots and I can feel the Oaxacan language. My teachers in anthropology prepared me for this perfectly.”
Taylor wants to continue NGO work after graduation, focusing specifically on building sustainable development. He particularly wants to work with the Peace Corps.
On campus, he is a cultural anthropology major with a minor in Latin American studies. He runs cross-country, played in the jazz band and percussion ensemble, and has worked at WHWS-FM.
In the photo above, Blake Taylor ’13 (right) poses with a fellow ProWorld volunteer in Oaxaca, Mexico. Taylor is spending his summer volunteering with ProWorld at an orphanage in Oaxaca.