Jamie Taylor has brought many of his unique talents to the Center for Service and Learning in the five years that he has worked there.
“Where do hamburgers go to dance?” Jamie Taylor asked. “The meatball!”
Jokes are only one of Taylor’s talents. His impeccable memory not only allows him to memorize the entire hymnbook, but also to help with the center’s receipts and program budgets. Because of his talent with numbers, Taylor is present in budget meetings and ensures receipts make it to the staff.
Casey Peterson is the director for the Center for Service and Learning and has worked with Taylor from the start.
“(Jamie) has a special, unique light,” Peterson said. “He just seemed to be part of our office from the beginning.”
Taylor also remembers the names of the many program directors and Service Council members.
“(I like that) I can meet new people and get to know them and know their names,” Taylor said.
Taylor has now worked 4,500 hours as a Y-Serve volunteer, making him a popular figure. Both Charles Abouo and President Bateman have stopped by the center to visit Jamie, who is a big fan of both.
The student employees also have special relationships with Jamie. Kaitlin Johnson, student receptionist for the Stop-and-Serve program, said the employees and Jamie share everything from nicknames to mint brownies.
“Jamie is actually the funniest person I know,” Johnson said. “He’s not just funny, but super helpful around the office and with the programs.”
Although he helps with many of the 63 Y-Serve programs, Jamie has a special role in the Best Buddies program. He serves as the Best Buddies Ambassador and is a Buddy Representative, attending conferences for the program and representing the Utah chapter for several events. He also conducts the Best Buddies choir during the center’s annual Spring Symposium.
Jamie’s spirit of service has come to be immortalized in the Jamie Taylor Award, which is given during the end-of-year Symposium to a student who has exemplified a special spirit of service. It is the highest award given each year by The Center for Service and Learning.
Each year Jamie selects the recipient of the award himself. He selects a student volunteer or program director who has shown genuine caring for the individual. Jamie was initially offered the award but said it would mean more to him that the award be given to others who show a genuine spirit of service.
“Jamie has tremendous insight into people,” Peterson said. “He is the most dependable, dedicated worker I know.”
Jamie has come to exemplify the spirit of the Center for Service and Learning for many of the staff, program directors and student volunteers who get to interact with him. Theodore Okawa, Community Service Coordinator, works with Jamie on a daily basis.
“It is kind of hard to describe,” Okawa said. “There’s a spirit that Jamie brings to the office. It makes people gentler and more full of the Spirit.”