Taylor Wesley, senior in communications, has completed her time as the University's 2015 Miss Homecoming, during which she promoted her platform “Spread Wellness with Wesley."
“After being named Miss Homecoming 2015, I have had the chance to use this title to continue to bring light to the topic of mental health on Auburn’s campus,” Wesley said. “My story became my calling to help this University with something so prevalent and so real.”
Wesley said one in four students struggle with mental health, which is 7,000 students on campus.
“Health is so crucial at this time in students’ lives because they are shaping their values, visions and the person they are constantly transforming into,” Wesley said.
Wesley served as the Health and Wellness director for SGA this past year.
“My job was to ensure that the student body is aware and made use of all of the benefits that the school has to offer for both physical and mental health," Wesley said. "It was awesome being able to carry my platform out in a practical way through this position.”
She served as a member of the Mental Health Task Force with other faculty, staff and students to conduct research and create a plan to continue to improve the lifestyle and resources for students, Wesley said.
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“I had the opportunity to partner up with the president of Active Minds to put together the second annual Mental Wealth Week where the purpose of the week was to create ‘Wealth’ through positive thought, action and mental health awareness," Wesley said.
Wesley said she's spent some of her time speaking to various organizations.
“I am now a member of the National Alliance for Mental Illness Alabama and the Communication intern for Health Promotion and Wellness Services,” Wesley said.
Wesley's heard conversations on mental health continue to grow and multiply since her platform unfolded.
“The transformation from ‘I’ to ‘We’ has created a domino effect that is going to continue throughout this campus as more and more people come together to raise awareness for mental health and spread wellness,” Wesley said.
Wesley said she thinks the most fulfilling career for her would be to work at a treatment center for substance abuse after graduation.
“I saw how I was losing my life and got it back better than ever," Wesley said. "Helping others do the same thing would be a very humbling career."
Her favorite experiences while serving as Miss Homecoming were the times students approached her and opened up about their journey with mental health, Wesley said.
“This is the most rewarding part about being a part of something much greater than myself," Wesley said.
Wesley said she encourages the Top 5 candidates to continue supporting their platforms.
“I would encourage all five candidates to continue sharing their platforms because they all unfolded and multiplied tremendously in just one week," Wesley said. "Through raising awareness for these issues, we have brought the student body together.”
Wesley advises the 2016 Miss Homecoming Kate Hardman, senior in nursing, to reach out to others.
“Use this experience to continue to touch lives, because that is what you were called to do,” Wesley said.
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