Student Showcase – Kolleen Taylor

Snow College Student Support Services Graduate an Inspiration

Written by Karen Buchanan
Revision of an article for the Manti, Utah Messenger-Enterprise, May 10, 2001.
Additional material from Sandra Lanier, Snow College SSS

Kolleen, a Student Support Services participant, graduated magna cum laude against great odds from Snow College in May 2001. She was accepted as a student at Utah State University, majoring in Psychology.

Kolleen Taylor, of Manti Utah, graduated magna cum laude against great odds from Snow College in May 2001.

A few years ago she could only read at a fourth grade level. She grew up with dyslexia, the youngest of 10 children and the only girl. She was known in the family as the “dumb little sister”. Finishing high school was a struggle.

After seven children and a divorce, she was working in a sewing plant when a friend told her she was too smart to just be working in the plant. With encouragement, she opened her own sewing shop. Other friends encouraged her to go to college, but she said she couldn’t read or write, and was too afraid. When her two young boys were diagnosed with dyslexia, she realized that she too had the condition. With the help of a specialist, she progressed from almost a nonreader to reading at the 10th grade level in five months.

Kolleen realized that maybe she could go back to school. Sandra Lanier from the Student Support Services at Snow College helped her enroll. Kolleen took advantage of the SSS services and received a 3.95 her first semester.

Her skills have improved, but reading was still difficult, requiring her to spend many, many hours a day studying. She closed her shop and dedicated her time to her education, working during the summers to make ends meet for the two sons who still lived with her.

Kolleen has been accepted as a student at Utah State University, majoring in Psychology. She is currently doing as well there as she did at Snow.