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Taylor Cole: A True Success Story

Taylor Cole

(Transcription)

Let me ask you a question: When you hear the word family, what comes to mind?

Maybe it's happiness, togetherness, nosy parents, annoying siblings or holidays with extended family, all these things come to my mind. My name is Taylor Cole. I'm 17 years old and I'm a senior at Centerville High School. I live in Centerville with my adopted mom, Shane and my adopted dad, Matt as well as my twin brother, Tyler.

Growing up, I was always alone. I didn't have many friends. I kind of just went home or sat by myself and did my own thing. I was in and out of foster care, which led to me being in and out of trouble, my biological mother was an alcoholic and an addict and. She didn't really care about anything, except those things from the time I was born up until I was five years old. My biological mother didn't take care of me or nurture me the way children are supposed to be.

I remember being locked in bedrooms as well as the basement. I also had to sleep on the hard floor because I didn't have a bed to sleep in. One-time the neighbors had reported that I had been walking up and down the street alone in a day-old diaper, I had been locked outside overnight. I witnessed alcohol and drug abuse, as well as illegal activities such as dealing, stealing, evading the police and, most importantly, child endangerment.

That's where my story begins, I inherited something from my biological older brother. I call it my victory scar. My victory scar is a scar on my stomach from a time when my older brother stabbed me with a boiled fork. He took that fork and he also burned my twin brother on the arm with it. The reason I call this scar, my victory scar, is because whenever I look at it, it reminds me of how far I've come. This scar also reminds me of all the things I've overcome and achieved to get to where I am today. Things like foster care, catching up to the other kids in school, bullies and many other things.

This scar is a constant reminder that no matter what life throws at me, I caught it and scored the winning touchdown with it. First, I would like to thank my biological family for teaching me to be independent, strong and an overachiever. I'm winning at life because of the things they put me through. I refuse to lose. I believe this story will help other teens if they experience the things that I experienced. They will look at me and see that it is possible to overcome those things and it is possible to take control of your life. No matter what other people think, you can do it because I'm doing it.

And I'd like to thank my adoptive parents because you guys inspire me daily to win, to live life 110 percent and to do things right and never take the easy way out. I will be attending Ohio University in the fall, studying mechanical engineering. Matt and Shannon Cole, you guys are my real parents. I will never forget the day I met you guys at the bowling alley. You guys taught me how to bowl before you even knew me and things I had been through. And I will never forget the fact that even after you had found out who I was and all the things that happened to me, you still continue to love me endlessly.

This is the story of Taylor Cole. A true success story, I guess that's it.

For Dayton Youth Radio at Centerville, this is Taylor Cole.

Taylor Cole is a student at Centerville High School. Special thanks to Tricia Rapoch, teacher for the Communication Arts Program at Centerville High School. Learn more at the school's website: http://www.centerville.k12.oh.us/CHS. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.