Taylor Thompson is a fourth-year in the School of Architecture on the Pre-Professional track. His most significant involvement on Grounds has been serving as the President of the Habitat for Humanity Club (HUVA). Taylor facilitates the organization of fundraising events, education and advocacy opportunities, weekly volunteer shifts, and seasonal trips both locally and nationally.
What led you to your interest in public service?
My passion for service began when my mom passed away in October 2014 after an 11-year on-and-off battle with breast cancer. When she was a student in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin in 1995, she was a part of a design competition exploring affordable housing with Austin Habitat for Humanity. Her team won, and the plans were built. After her passing, I wanted to ensure that she was not remembered for her battle with breast cancer, but as a devoted mother, a loyal friend, and a woman who cared deeply about other people. I fundraised and built a Habitat for Humanity home in her memory in 2015, and I have been a part of the organization ever since.
What has been the most rewarding aspect that comes with your community involvements?
The most rewarding aspect of my community involvements has been the chance to learn from our neighbors while developing deep relationships with them that will last beyond my four years on Grounds.
How has the virtual transition affected your involvements?
The virtual transition has not affected my definition of service, but it has forced me and the Governance Committee of HUVA to be more creative in our approach as we look to get people as excited about affordable housing as we are!
How would you encourage others to get involved?
Obviously, I would encourage others to get involved with HUVA, but I would mostly just encourage people to get involved in something, because I have found so much community in the organizations that I have joined. I know it's later in the semester, but all it takes is a quick email or attending the Student Activities Fair in the spring.
What has been the greatest class you have taken at UVA?
The best class I have taken at UVA is Personal Finance because most of the classes I have taken in the School of Architecture have been theoretical; this class is much more practical.
What is your favorite UVA tradition?
My favorite UVA tradition is Convocation, because it is one of the few times that we are able to be together as the Class of 2021.
If you could do one thing to make the world a better place, what would it be?
If I could only do one thing to make the world a better place, it would be to make at least one person's day better every day because a number of small acts of kindness added together can make a huge difference.