Global Playground’s former Intern Taylor Nelson received the College of William & Mary’s 2013 James Monroe Prize for Civic Leadership. Nelson was honored during the College’s Charter Day ceremonies on Feb. 8.
The award is granted to a student “who has demonstrated sustained leadership of an unusual quality, leadership combined with initiative, character, and an unfailing commitment to leverage the assets of the College community to address the needs of our society.”
Nelson will graduate from the College in May with a major in Sociology and a minor in Community Studies. She interned with Global Playground the summer after her sophomore year.
“It was wonderful to work with Global Playground and to have the opportunity to see such a different light on so many different things, such as cross-cultural communication,” Nelson said. “It was great to work with a staff that is so passionate about what they do and that is really driving change around the world.”
Nelson worked with members of the organization during her internship to begin the Moment of the Week initiative on the Global Playground website. Moment of the Week highlights a picture, video or moment from the lives of the teaching fellows at one of the five Global Playground schools. (correct me if this descrip is wrong)
“Working with Global Playground showed me the capacity I had to produce the things that they needed,” Nelson said. “It was incredible to see how my work paid off and was benefiting the organization itself.”
Nelson has had an extensive career in service during her four years at the College. She currently serves on the Branch Out campus executive board, working to plan alternative break trips and train trip leaders. She entered as a Sharpe community scholar, studying social justice issues in her freshman seminar. She worked for the Lackey Free Clinic in Yorktown, Virginia, and she created her own community-based research project on the effects of cooking-based nutritional education on reducing childhood obesity.
After spending a summer working with Global Playground, Nelson traveled to Ireland to continue her international social engagement experience working with Ashoka. There, she worked to coordinate the Change Nation summit during the summer after her junior year. These experiences have contributed to Nelson’s continued service to her community in Williamsburg and abroad.
“Winning the award was such a humbling experience,” Nelson said. “I don’t think I could have gotten to that point without organizations like Global Playground supporting me and giving me the opportunity to do the things that I have done.”
Read more about Taylor’s award here on William & Mary News.