Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero: Alex Taylor

Alex Taylor is a seventh grader at Barren County Middle School who proves that there is no age restriction when it comes to doing things to make a difference.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 3:51 PM CDT
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GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) - Alex Taylor is a seventh grader at Barren County Middle School who proves that there is no age restriction when it comes to doing things to make a difference in the lives of others.

Unlike other students his age, you can find him at North Jackson Elementary on Saturday mornings assisting students with special and significant health needs and participating in the school’s Biddy Basketball league.

He began his journey working with children with special needs when his mother, Emma Taylor, began her job at North Jackson Elementary as an MDS Teacher. This has also inspired him to follow in her footsteps as he aspires to one day become an MDS teacher himself.

“I started wanting to be a special education teacher whenever my mom first started the job and I first got interaction with her kids,” Taylor said.

His mother is proud of the example Alex is setting for his peers.

“There aren’t enough words to describe how proud I am of Alex,” Emma said. “He does not let any ability of any person stop him from interacting with them or playing with them.”

During the basketball games, you can see him pushing his friend, Bentlee Nieten, around the court. He not only assists with navigation of the court but also with dribbling and shooting.

“He just has to need some assistance but everyone can need assistance in basketball,” said Taylor. “It’s not just them who have to have assistance. Everyone can use assistance at times.”

The assistance that Alex provides extends far beyond the basketball court.

Even though Bentlee is completely non-verbal, Alex understands him completely.

“We usually have to ask him yes or no questions and a yes is a yell and a no is he will stick his tongue out at you, and sometimes he’s just being silly and says it on purpose,” said Taylor.

In the time he has been working with the children in his mother’s class, Alex has heard peers say unkind things about his friends and their disabilities. He wants everyone to be able to learn and show kindness and compassion.

Knowing that he gets to spend time with Bentlee and the other children motivates Alex to start his days. He looks forward to those interactions every chance he gets and is inspired by their attitudes and outlooks on life.

“I just love being around them because they’re all happy. They’re always happy to have a really good friend too and that’s probably what makes me want to work with them so much, ”said Taylor.

To Alex, being a good friend and a good person means treating everyone fairly and equally.

“Really just everyone is born different,” he said. “We just kind of have to acknowledge that and that not everybody is the same but that doesn’t mean we have to treat them different.”