ANIMALS

UM students give back to the Oxford community

Chloe Riley
The Oxford Eagle

Home to over 15 different volunteering organizations, Oxford has provided its residents with opportunities to serve the community and give back for years.

Starting her freshman year at the University of Mississippi, Taylor Cos was seeking a way to get involved both on campus and off.

Competing in pageants from a young age, Cos was passionate about community service and volunteering, a key element in her platform.

After selecting to support High-Five Your Life: The 5 Steps to Becoming Your Best Self, Cos was looking for an organization in Oxford that would help her live out the five elements of her platform: be healthy, be involved, be a leader, be a volunteer, and be confident.

Joining a sorority her freshman year, Cos came upon the Boys & Girls Club, an organization she felt would best support her platform.

“After I joined my sorority, I went to several philanthropy events at the Boys & Girls Club,” Cos said. “Even though it isn’t necessarily my platform, it’s a great outlet for it. It’s the best way for me to embody the five aspects of my platform while being a positive influence on these children.”

After learning about Cos’ platform and the positive lifestyle it promotes, the Boys & Girls Club invited Cos to speak about the platform and teach them ways embrace it in their own lives.

UM student Taylor Cos poses with children after speaking about her pageant platform, High-Five Your Life

UM student Taylor Cos poses with children after speaking about her pageant platform, High-Five Your Life

“I spent a week going to the Boys & Girls Club and teaching about a different aspect of the platform each day,” Cos said. “Given that High-Five Your Life is something I am so passionate about, I was so excited to share such a positive message with the children too.”

UM student Taylor Cos speaks to a group of children at the Boys & Girls Club of Oxford.

UM student Taylor Cos speaks to a group of children at the Boys & Girls Club of Oxford.

As an active advocate for a positive lifestyle, Cos said, “I love how involved the kids are there and how excited they were to have a guest speaker there.

“The simplest things make them happy, and even though I feel like I’m giving back by volunteering there, they also give me such happiness in return.”

Volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club has not only helped Cos expand her platform, but act as a role model and mentor for the children she works with.

“I think that having a positive role model in this day and age is extremely important for young children, so I hope the platform I stand for gives them a positive image to look up to,” Cos said.

Not only does Oxford host a number of organizations geared toward helping the children of the community, it also hosts organizations like the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society that aids in the shelter and adoption of animals.

For UM student Chandler Morgan, “My favorite part about being an intern at the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society is being able to be surrounded by amazing animals and people who are constantly looking to better themselves and better the environment that they work in.”

Looking to connect her passion of journalism and love for animals, Morgan applied to be the public relations intern for the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society.

“The entire internship seemed like a perfect match for me because it has both sides of what I love most; doing what I love with my major and working with amazing animals,” she said.

A passion for working with animals came to life when Morgan served as a volunteer at the Marietta Humane Society throughout high school.

“I was always very familiar working with animals in shelters, so I originally decided to get involved my freshman year of college to continue doing what I love,” Morgan said.

“When the opportunity came to work for the communications sector of the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, I completely jumped on it because, not only do I enjoy working with animals, but anything I can use to gain more experience with my major is fantastic.”

As the public relations intern, Morgan’s responsibilities have expanded greatly.

“I’m in charge of all the communications for posting adoptions, event planning and social media,” Morgan said. “Communications between those seeking information on OLHS also are directed to me for any questions or inquires about our organization.”

Acquiring more experience in her major isn’t the only thing Morgan has gained while working for the shelter.

“Every single day, I see lives impacted,” she said. “Whether it’s through the amazing work that the volunteers do for our animals and what they provide for the organization, or the impact that adoption has within a person’s life – I think my job as a communications portion of the organization plays a part in jump-starting the adoption process and allowing those who want to get involved an outlet to provide those resources to our organization.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities in Oxford, go to volunteeroxford.org for more information.

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