Hard Work and Perseverance

Patterson High School graduating senior Chelsea Taylor is Gold Medal winner of Hispanic Heritage Youth Award for Sports

Published on LatinoLA: July 28, 2009

Hard Work and Perseverance

From the moment she set foot on the volleyball court and felt the exhilaration of spiking a volleyball, Patterson High School graduating senior Chelsea Taylor instantly knew that there was no other place she'd rather be. She has been excelling at the sport ever since.

The 18-year-old Captain of her school's volleyball team attributes her hard work and perseverance to the game, which has garnered her myriad recognitions such as: High School Varsity Most Valuable Offensive Player, Varsity Volleyball Captain Award and Western Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete Award. She also a dance and has received Gold and Silver medals in Competitive Dance for the ballet and hip-hop categories, all the while maintaining a remarkable 4.2 GPA.

Recently, Taylor's hard work and perseverance has led her, to become 2009's regional Gold Medal winner of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Award for Sports. The award is given out annually by the Washington DC-based Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation and SUBWAY Restaurants, and includes $3,000 toward her college education. It also gives the winner the opportunity to compete for the award's national counterpart, and an additional $5,000 grant.

"For me, this is an incredible achievement," said Taylor. "To be selected from among so many amazing student-athletes makes this award that much more special. I would like to thank the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and SUBWAY Restaurants for this honor, which will no doubt help me move forward at the University of Southern California in my pursuit towards a degree in Physiology and Human Biology."

Taylor is not only an athlete, she is also a philanthropist. Every Saturday morning, for the last two years, she has volunteered to tutor kids for the National Council of La Raza, where she has also organized blood drives. "I fervently believe that the immediate needs of people, whether it be food, water, shelter, clothing, etc., deserve attention," said Taylor. "It is rewarding, and a true blessing, to possess the means to help another."

Legendary soccer player and Hall of Famer Tab Ramos, a spokesperson for SUBWAY Restaurants and the 2005 recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's Sports Award, says he is proud of Latinos like Taylor, who are able to excel in both sports and academia. "It is great to see the leaders of tomorrow achieve both in and out of the classroom," Ramos said. "SUBWAY restaurants are solidly committed to supporting the Hispanic community, as well as an active lifestyle."

In addition to sponsoring the Sports category of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards, SUBWAY also sponsors numerous health-related initiatives around the country. In March 2009, for example, the franchise joined forces with the National Institutes of Health's "We Can!" program, a national campaign to combat juvenile obesity among youth. Through a series of visits to different schools and community centers around the country, Ramos is talking to thousands of kids about the need to maintain an active lifestyle and eat right.

"It is commonplace to see Chelsea actively involved in extra-curricular activities on any given day," said Hugh C. Leonard, Counselor at Patterson High School. "When approaching Chelsea, it is striking to see the confidence and poise exhibited by her. This is a young lady that knows what she wants and will do the required work to attain her goal."

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