Taylor Uses Her Animal Instincts to Help Others

Margaret Elizabeth Taylor, also known as Magy, is making a difference in the world around her by incorporating her love for animals and her compassion for people.  The 26 year-old is a senior in the Management and Organizational Development program at University of Mount Olive in New Bern where she currently has a 4.0 GPA.  She works as a government contracted data technician for an Alaskan based company.  When not working or going to school Taylor likes to volunteer her time with Safe Harbor Farm, a 60-acre, no kill, nonprofit animal shelter, and Carolina East Medical Center.
“I absolutely love volunteering because it always brings a smile to my face,” she said.  “I feel like working at Safe Harbor Farm is actually therapeutic for me!” At Safe Harbor Farm Taylor does everything from walking dogs, to building fences, to helping with the adopt-a-thons. “I have honestly learned so much about myself working there.”
Taylor recently began volunteering with Carolina East Medical Center.  It was an opportunity she found out about because of one her MOC professors Timothy Dakin.  “I went for an interview with the head of Volunteer Services, learned about their TheraPaws companion animal program, and filled out the necessary paperwork.”  Taylor and her six and a half year-old Black Lab, Zoe, underwent health screenings, interviews and an orientation process.  “Zoe passed the AKC Canine Good Citizenship Test on the first try; without taking the class!” Taylor boasted.
The volunteer work that Taylor does with Zoe at the physical rehabilitation wing of Carolina East Medical Center is very basic. “I am not a licensed therapist, I am simply a volunteer with a well-trained dog,” she said. “Zoe and I just walk the halls going room-to-room to see who is interested in meeting Zoe. She gets lots of love.  The patients get the benefit of spending time with an affectionate animal.”
In the future Taylor would like to expand her volunteer efforts to working with Disabled American Veterans and service members suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an effective supplemental therapy for individuals suffering from PTSD.  AAT teaches coping and social skills and is usually very comforting.”
For as long as she can remember Taylor has been interested in psychology and animals. “Honestly the two things just came together in my mind and I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to have my own unique business model integrating the two.”  After graduating from University of Mount Olive in December Taylor envisions continuing her education so that she may open her own small psychology firm specializing in anxiety disorders.  She would like to pair it with a large no kill, nonprofit animal shelter.  She plans to use the skills and information learned at University of Mount Olive to help locate funding sources and disciplines for the business.
“My degree at University of Mount Olive has prepared me for the next chapter in my life by giving me invaluable knowledge that applies to several aspects of my life, both professionally and personally. It has also helped me develop professional and social skills while working with a wonderful group of my future colleagues. My class mates became like family and greatly benefitted my academic experience,” Taylor concluded.
University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit www.moc.edu.