Taylor Wright finds his home at UofSC

Student body president works to make every student feel welcome, involved

For a second-generation Gamecock, born and raised in a small town, the University of South Carolina was a dream since childhood — one that has now come true. Taylor Wright, a senior public health major in the Arnold School of Public Health with a minor in business administration, has made it his mission as student body president to see that every Gamecock feels at home at the university, regardless of their background. He also wants to pay forward to every student all the support he has received here.

“Being from a small high school with just 46 kids in my graduating class, coming to USC was quite a change. But everyone I met made me feel welcome here,” Wright says. “I found my people and it feels like home to me.”

As head of student government, one of the most diverse organizations on campus, Wright’s focus is on innovating to help address the everyday challenges that students face on campus, from mental health to transportation. During his term as president, Wright is building on the progress of the student body presidents before him and is working to make student government more approachable.

“It’s important to me to reach out to people who don't normally get involved in student government, to let them know that everyone is welcome,” Wright says. “I really want to bring student government to the people and see the next generation of USC leaders get involved from the beginning, like I did.”

Wright’s student government journey began in his freshman year when he was selected to serve on the Freshman Council, exposing him to the myriad opportunities the University of South Carolina has to offer and inspiring him to get more involved in the Carolina community.

Later, Wright served as deputy director of UofSC Flood Relief/Columbia Relief where he planned the placement of hundreds of volunteers at multiple sites after Baton Rouge, La., and Houston experienced historic flooding. It was then that his fellow classmates showed him what it really means to be a Gamecock.

“The way that everyone came together defines USC,” he says. “It’s about more than academics. It’s about people coming together to make a difference.”

No matter your background or where you come from, you can realize your dream at USC.

Taylor Wright, student body president

During his junior year, Wright served as a University Ambassador, giving tours of the university and sharing his journey with prospective students and their parents. He also served as chief of staff to Lead the Way, a statewide voter registration drive that registered more than 5,800 new student voters, making it the second largest student-led voter registration drive in the nation. As secretary of campus outreach for student government’s executive cabinet, he worked with campus philanthropies like Dance Marathon and Relay for Life and built connections between students organizations and student government. He also started a campus organization that focuses on improving the health of South Carolina residents.

Wright wants students to know there is more than one way to make an impact. He encourages students to keep their options open and find their own niche on campus, wherever that may be.

“Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. One of those will be the one that sticks,” he says. “Don't be afraid, and never count yourself out. Don't tell yourself ‘no.’ ”

Wright is keeping his possibilities open after graduation as well. He wants to work in the health care field and is considering medical school and possibly a career as a family practice physician. Wherever he ends up, he says the experiences he’s had here will be with him for a lifetime.

“No matter your background or where you come from, you can realize your dream at USC.”

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