Student Reflections
Taylor Peters Testimonial

Taylor Peters Testimonial

What an amazing testimonial presented by Mt. Scott Learning Center graduate Taylor Peters (Class of 2008) at our STRIVE! event on May 15th. Here’s a summary of her message:

Thank you all for your time and attention while I share some of my life story and specifically my experience with Mt Scott Learning Center. I have shared several positive reviews of my high school over the years, but today I will share a more unfiltered version. I think many young people can relate to things I have experienced, and I hope to give you all a real glimpse of why Mt Scott is important to me, the students it serves, and the health of our community. 

I graduated from Mt Scott in 2008. High school years are challenging for most. My younger brother and I had an exceptionally difficult time, as there was much instability in our lives at the time. Our mother worked long hours in efforts to provide for us on her own. We were surrounded by negative influences. Our peers’ lives and our own were filled with crime, unhealthy relationships, drugs, and alcohol. We were drowning in the public school system academically and socially. Other than our hardworking and at no fault of her own, absent mother, we had no adult that knew us past our names and failing grades, we had nothing to strive for, and had no reason to believe that we were capable of anything more. 

Desperate for any hope of her children graduating high school, my mom found Mt Scott Learning Center. I went reluctantly, but the staff quickly won me over with their genuine care and desire to know me. They treated me as the young adult I craved to be. They wanted to know who I was, and they saw who I could become.

Mt Scott became our safe place and an opportunity to choose a better life for ourselves. With recovered grades and a new positive outlook on my future, I got a full-time job my junior year, bought my first car and started contributing to my family while also saving for college and my life after graduation. It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies from then on. I was a teenager still experiencing difficulties. Occasionally I would fall asleep in class, have disputes with classmates or fall behind on an assignment. Bit instead of disciplinary notes home and marks against my grades, the staff treated me with a gentle kindness first and willingness to support me in doing better. These efforts were so appreciated that I WANTED to do better. By the end of my senior year, I felt prepared and confident for the next phase of life. I was accepted to attend Oregon State University and graduated with a Bachelors in Science a few years later. 

I now have four children and a wonderful husband. We started our own photography business six years ago and it is thriving. Our business allows us a lot of time with our family, creating a life that neither of us even knew was possible for us. We also serve youth in our community through a mentorship program around teen suicide prevention, and my husband goes beyond that to mentor youth through his work as a football coach and chaplain. I can’t imagine that I would be living a life filled with healthy relationships, family time and giving back to my community if it weren’t for my path being redirected during my high school years. 

Looking back now, 15 years after graduating, I know that the biggest impact Mt. Scott and the staff had on my life is belief. Belief in myself and that there was greatness within me, within all of us in our own ways. That I was capable of accomplishing whatever I set my mind to. I credit many of my greatest successes so far in life to that belief.

While I almost called Tom to back out of this speech everyday leading up to today, I didn’t. I’m here because I know I am capable of more than my doubts, more than my circumstances. 

I’m sure that the Mt. Scott staff that were there for me at the time, many of whom were around the age that I am now, were facing their own struggles, busy lives and circumstances. But they showed up for me every day. I hope I showed up today for them and for youth that need a school like Mt. Scott Learning Center.