“The resources and support I knew I had from everyone at Boys Hope Girls Hope spurred me to get where I am today. I would have tried to do this on my own, but it would have been a lot more difficult. I knew what I had to do, but having the support and belief from everyone in the organization made it much easier to get to this point.”
James Taylor joined Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio during the summer before sixth grade. James’ parents had split up when he was young and he was raised in a single-parent home with his father. He joined the Boys Hope Girls Hope Academy program first and then moved into the residential program when he transitioned to high school.
Moving into the Boys Hope Girls Hope home was a big transition as an only child, but in doing so James developed life-long friendships through the program. The structure provided by the team and the academic rigor of Walsh Jesuit High School helped him to prepare for college and his future career. James also cites the Boys Hope Girls Hope’s family-like environment and living with five other young men as the key to keeping his educational journey on track.
James and his girlfriend Madison on Parliament Hill in Canada during an internship James had there.
Last month, James graduated with a Political Science and International Relations degree from Ohio State University. While in school, James led OSU’s University Votes, a nonpartisan student-led movement to register, educate and encourage students to vote. James has always had a keen interest in politics and government and is considering law school in a couple of years. This summer, James is working for the US Census and seeking permanent employment in Columbus, where he and his girlfriend hope to stay.
James said he had been blessed by the many people in his life, including the Boys Hope Girls Hope team members who believed in him: “The resources and support I knew I had from everyone at Boys Hope Girls Hope spurred me to get where I am today. I would have tried to do this on my own, but it would have been a lot more difficult. I knew what I had to do, but having the support and belief from everyone in the organization made it much easier to get to this point.”
James with his father and cousin gathered together for the holidays.
Kristin Ostby is the President & CEO of the organization. She leads the Boys Hope Girls Hope Network and directs the Network Headquarters team; reporting to the Network Board of Directors.
James’s father, who James said had many sacrifices for him, recently retired after 20 years of working in an auto parts manufacturing plant. James said his father was adjusting to retirement and very proud of his son. Now that he’s graduated, James looks forward to spending more time with his father and girlfriend, following Ohio sports teams, and analyzing the upcoming election.
At this unprecedented time of social movement, James said, “It’s really crazy. In five to ten years, we’ll realize how big of an event this actually is. I like to be optimistic. I think seeing the number of people and how widespread the protests were was very telling of people being aware of what is happening and wanting to take steps forward. I’m optimistic, but it’s going to take some work.”
When asked about James Taylor, Tim Grady, Executive Director of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio wrote, “One of the great privileges of working at Boys Hope Girls Hope is the opportunity to witness young people grow from children into amazing women and men. Over my years at BHGH, it has been a true gift to be a part of the many highs and lows of hard-working young scholars like James Taylor. All of us at BHGH are beyond proud of “JT” and can’t wait to see what he does next in this world.”