Taylor Stevens is one of my many archery students that make me proud each day. Taylor practices with the team 6 days a week and gives 100% of himself. He is depressed on snow days and elated when I sneak in extra practices. His story needs to be told.
Taylor is a 12 year old boy who was born 13 weeks early. He weighed 2 lbs. 2oz. and was in NICU for 3 months. He had a brain bleed which caused his cerebral palsy. This affects his legs and balance. Doctors predicted his condition would leave him in a wheel chair. He beat the odds. No wheel chair. He used braces until the age of 10 but now those are gone too.
Taylor tried sports such as baseball and Karate, but soon realized he couldn’t keep up with the other children because of his own limitations. This was very frustrating for him. He lost self-confidence. In the past years, gym class became something he wanted to avoid.
Then Taylor came to Boyd County Middle School and approached me about joining the archery team. He soon found that his limitations disappeared. He could compete and his CP would have no influence on his performance. He is an awesome shooter!
One of the first days I met Taylor, he wore an army hat so the team nicknamed Taylor “Rambo.” Rambo’s popularity didn’t stop with the team. His teachers noticed.
“As the year has progressed, Taylor’s self esteem has improved and he has gained self-confidence” – Mr. Nat Gray, Social Studies Teacher
“I have seen Taylor transform from a student who hesitated to answer questions aloud and rarely volunteered to participate in class activities to a student who enters the room smiling, and bravely approaches new things. He has become an important leader and active part of class discussions as well as a brave learner. The changes in his academic success and his positive motivation show in the pride he carries when he wears his archery team shirt.” – Ms. Shayla Huffman, Language Arts Teacher
“Archery has helped Taylor make the needed transition to middle school. He found his niche and has applied the skills he has learned from his involvement with this team to his academic classes. Taylor is a positive inspiration for his classmates and teachers.” – Ms. Kelly Ackerson, Science Teacher
“Taylor really enjoys gym class. He couldn’t wait for the archery section. It was his opportunity to shine.” – Ms. Teresa Dempsey, Physical Education Teacher
As you can see from the quotes above, NASP has had a tremendous effect on Taylor. Taylor has had a tremendous effect on me. Thank you to the National Archery in the Schools Program.
Sheri Schatz, Boyd County Middle School Archery Coach