A Trailblazer for Social Entrepreneurs and Innovators in Education
Going Above and Beyond: A Personal (and Social) Responsibility to Help Others
Taylor Brendle is a young professional bursting with energy, enthusiasm, and purpose. Much of this disposition is rooted in her deep-seated belief in the capacity for social responsibility to fuel positive change, both in the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. It is also driven by her belief that most people and businesses, when empowered to do good, will.
Hop to the Top
Taylor graduated from Davidson College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. While at Davidson, she was able to work alongside multiple agencies to increase their efficiencies in database management and program development. It was through these experiences that she was able to discover her passion for corporate social responsibility.
“In general, social responsibility is about making sure the communities that you are serving are equitable and just. It is also about companies, colleges, or nonprofits in the area providing what the community actually needs,” explained Taylor. “My long-term career interests are in social responsibility, and I saw my work as a Bonner Scholar as an extension of social responsibility for the organizations that I served.”
A self-identified “site hopper,” Taylor never stayed with one particular organization for too long. From classrooms and community centers to real estate and manufacturing companies, Taylor found ways to impact her community through education and businesses. By hopping around, Taylor was able to focus her interests in social responsibility. It also showed her how nonprofits and corporations both contribute to sustainable social change.
Building a Socially Responsible Career
Taylor currently serves as the Civic Engagement Fellow at Davidson College. Though this position places her in higher education, she views her work for the college as a branch of corporate social responsibility. That is because her job is to ensure that the college, like any corporation, is protecting and serving all of their students, in an equitable and just manner.
Taylor has two primary duties. One is managing an on-campus student resource center called Lula Bell’s. In this role, she plans programming centered on topics of issue-based dialogue and oversees database systems for food, clothing, and textbook resources.
Her other role includes coordinating the Intersections programming series, an initiative to educate the Davidson College student body about civic engagement resources on campus and in the community. This position allows her to foster partnerships with different divisions across campus to connect civic engagement to other aspects of student life.
“Knowing that I am bringing resources to students in need makes this work meaningful to me,” said Taylor. “It is also nice to see the impact that having a physical space dedicated to meeting student need has in changing the student demographics, creating a more diverse and equitable campus in the process.”
Even though she loves engaging with students at her alma mater, Taylor has firm plans to move on from her current position in the summer of 2019. Her dream job is to become a chief corporate social responsibility officer at a Fortune 500 company. Before that, though, she plans to do more work in corporate consulting to gain more project management and business experience needed to achieve her dream.
Like many of her Bonner brothers and sisters, Taylor at one point felt that she had to find a long-term service site that fit her calling. By moving around, however, she learned “that this was not always the case.” As Taylor advises, “Don’t be afraid to site hop and figure out what makes you tick.”
To learn more about Taylor, check out some of her favorite books:
Written by Alexander Nichols, Bonner Scholar at Davidson College ‘19