Surely, you’ve heard it said before: “Life is not easy.” Sadly, it is something that is said far too often, by far too many people – but one person you will never hear this from is 17-year-old Taylor Scruggs. That is: 17-year-old high school graduate Taylor Scruggs.
Recently, Taylor walked across the stage at A&M Consolidated High School to receive her high school diploma. While this is always an accomplishment – a noteworthy high point – of any young person’s life, it meant that much more for Taylor and her parents because of what it took to get to that point.
Taylor’s journey to her high school graduation – to walking across that stage – began when she was born prematurely, at only 27 weeks. At the time, the doctors told Taylor’s parents that they should never expect her to walk, and that she could also be expected to struggle mentally. Her parents decided to prepare for the worst, but they continued to keep a good attitude and believe for the best.
When Taylor was five years old, she took her first step. By the time she reached high school, she could walk anywhere with the help of a walker – leaving behind the wheelchair she was supposed to be confined to – and she was taking every advanced placement course she could get her hands on. Even with all she had accomplished in her young life already, however, Taylor was not satisfied going through her junior and senior year at the same pace as before. Instead, she decided she was going to graduate a year early. Yes – a full year early.
What did it take to make this happen? First, Taylor had to take an entire schedule of nothing but advanced placement and honors courses…and on top of that, she had to take an additional nine hours of night courses, spread over three days of the week.
With this high level of dedication, Taylor accomplished her goal – graduating a year early. What’s more, she did so with full honors…something that would be difficult enough to accomplish in four full years of high school – let alone for someone about whom doctors wondered whether she would ever graduate high school at all.
And while others might use this extra year – this year Taylor worked so hard to gain – in order to attend college early and get a head start there, Taylor is waiting until the fall of 2015 to start school, when she will be attending the University of Utah to study recreational therapy. Instead of starting school early, she is dedicating this year to sharing her story with others, and to finding ways through which she can be an inspiration to others in a position similar to hers, and to those she meets in the world around her. Recently, she had an opportunity to appear on the Today Show and share her story on there – but whether on a national television program or simply in her daily live, Taylor remains the same, and her goal remains to find ways to help others lead a full life and live up to their potential!