18 Under 18 Highlight: Taylor Veschio
In our Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 recipients series, we’re next highlighting Taylor Veschio. She’s done great things for the Flagstaff community. Read on the hear why she was selected as an inaugural Junior Achievement 18 Under 18!
Taylor Veschio, BASIS, Flagstaff 17 years old
Taylor has a history of changing her community. She developed a child advocacy council that advises doctors on their pediatric bedside manners – providing feedback and coaching from a youth perspective.
Later, when Taylor was volunteering at a Flagstaff-area senior home, she noticed something: the residents needed people to talk to. “A lot of the people there don’t have family that visits them very often,” she said. “So I adopted a grandfather, and I’d bring him cookies and read him the paper. But I needed to do more.”
Taylor formed The Youth Ambassadors, a group of high school students who volunteer time at senior centers.” I train them and we act as candy stripers,” she said. “We interact with the residents and read them the paper, just make their day happier. I wanted to make people feel happy in a way that was quite easy in the end.”
What do you want to be doing in 10 years? I’d like to have a family, and I’d like to live in a city. Whether it’s a career as a forensic pathologist or as a neurosurgeon, I want to make sure I’m making an impact and that I’m happy with it.
Who’s your biggest inspiration? My brother Connor. He went to college and discovered that he loved nursing. He taught me that if you really want something, you can get it as long as you try really hard. He’s making people’s lives better. He just got his CNA and into the University of Arizona’s honors college. We’re really proud of him. I’m going to miss him…but I’m also excited because I get my own bathroom.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? My math teacher, Mr. Smith says know what you don’t know. It’s plastered all over his room. It taught me to let curiosity lead me, that learning is the best way to achieve anything. Try for something.