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Taylor Yates graduation

Alumni finds passion for marketing and coaching

During her sophomore year in high school, Taylor Yates ’19 became interested in getting a head start on her college education and enrolled in YVC’s Running Start program. The program provides students like Yates the opportunity to take college courses while completing the requirements for their high school diploma. Enrolling at just 16 years old, Yates had to learn quickly how succeed in an environment with a diverse student population.

“Age was my biggest barrier when starting at YVC. As a Running Start student, our [YVC] campus is so nontraditional in the student population,” said Yates. “I realized that my feelings were less about my age and more about confidence in my abilities. Being placed in different groups and classes with people of diverse ages [and] different walks of life taught me a lot about my capabilities.”

She recalls one group project in which she was partnered with an engineer who was retraining for a new career, a mother of three and a grandmother. The experience made a lasting impact and helped her realize that her value was not related to her age — ultimately helping her confidence in herself grow.

“Running Start gave me the skills at a young age to be independent in figuring out problem solving and pushing myself for the next level. YVC was the perfect place for that,” said Yates.

That push and determination helped Yates become involved on the YVC campus beyond her classes. She served as the public relations and marketing officer for the college’s student government (ASYVC), a student ambassador, Running Start club president, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the art club. She also was a star athlete playing on the Davis High School varsity softball team.

Supporting the student life office and student clubs and organizations with their publication relations and marketing projects helped her determine what career she wanted to pursue.

“ASYVC is what made me decide what I wanted to do in terms of my career. I knew I wanted to be in a creative space. ASYVC let me take on responsibilities that allowed me to be part of [campus] organizations. It gave me a safe environment to explore and made my time at YVC more impactful.” — Taylor Yates, ’19

Coming from a military family, Yates knew the excitement of going to new places and traveling across the country. Therefore, after earning her associate degree she decided to move away from home and attend an out-of-state college to continue her education.

“I knew going out of state for college would be hard. But I wanted the experience of being able to do something that I knew would be challenging. I was looking for places to play softball and just closed eyes, pointed to map and applied there. I was trying not to be afraid of leaving home.”

She carried the confidence and drive to be involved with her when she transferred to Agnes Scott College, in Atlanta. As a Scottie, Yates played varsity softball, was the campus recreation and social media manager, and served on the student advisory committee, athletics recovery club and active minds club. She also wrote and served as the social media manager for HerCampus student newspaper and was elected the student government senior class senator. During this time she also had the opportunity to begin coaching — something that she has since grown to love. She earned her bachelor’s in business management with cum laude honors and had a job lined up upon graduation with Play Sports Community.

She’s currently operations and marketing coordinator for the adult sports league marketing and social media company based in New Jersey and also coaches a traveling softball team. Earlier this year, Yates was selected as a marketing and communications fellow at Agnes Scott College.

One of the main values Yates hopes to instill in her players is that there is a time for leadership and a time to be a teammate.

“The purpose of being part of a team is recognizing when to follow somebody else. Being a collegiate athlete sets you up for success with time management, overcoming adversity and facing failure. All types of things that you’ll face in an adult life, we just get to experience them earlier. Overall, it prepared me for challenges in life.”

Taylor has advice for other students who may be hesitant to get involved.

“You don’t know until you try. That has helped me in so many ways. Even at YVC, I knew I wanted to try student government but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it. But I decided to try anyways.”