Bright Future: Vidalia student ready to represent city, club as Miss Merry Christmas
Published 12:09 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014
VIDALIA — Taylor Yates always considered herself a spokesperson for Vidalia — now it’s official.
The Vidalia High School senior was recently selected as the 2014 Miss Merry Christmas by the Vidalia Women’s Club, an honor that includes representing the area in the city’s annual Christmas parade Sunday.
“I love my hometown, and I tell people that all the time,” Yates said. “I hear students say all the time they don’t want to come back here or don’t like where they grew up, but I’m so glad I grew up in this town.”
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As part of the application process to be selected for the position of Miss Merry Christmas, Yates was asked to write an essay on: “What would you do to make Vidalia a better place to live, and would you be willing to help implement your ideas into reality?”
In her essay, Yates discussed an idea of placing names of needy children on a Christmas tree in a public place where people could choose a child’s tag and buy them something for Christmas.
“I have a big heart for needy children, and so I thought that would be a good idea,” Yates said. “Being someone who has been given more than I deserve, it’s sad when you think about the kids in our area who don’t have much.”
Another idea Yates discussed was organizing a group of student volunteers to raise money for projects to help beautify Vidalia by planting flowers in specific places around town.
Those types of projects are exactly what Yates enjoys so much about being a part of the school’s Key Club.
“I love doing community service, because it makes me so happy to see that a little bit of work can touch somebody so much,” Yates said. “Some kids ask why you would want to give up your Saturday to do that, but I guess I’m tender hearted that way.”
That community involvement and compassion for others is something her mother, Angela, said she’s always seen in her daughter.
“She’s always been willing to help others,” Angela said. “She gives her time to help others whenever she can, because she likes staying involved.
“I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Yates was recently accepted to Louisiana State University and plans on majoring in pre-dentistry with the goal of eventually becoming a pediatric dentist.
Even though she doesn’t know what exactly is ahead for her in the next few years, Yates said she hopes to eventually return to Vidalia and invest back into her hometown.
“I really don’t know what the future holds, but I definitely see myself coming back here in the future,” Yates said. “We live in a community where everyone is so willing to pitch in and help with whatever is going on, and you just don’t see that a lot anymore.”
Yates is also a member of the school’s yearbook committee, the superintendent advisory council committee and the varsity cheerleading squad, as well as playing on the Lady Vikings softball team .
Taylor is the daughter of Doug and Angela Yates of Vidalia.