As a standout guard for the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Starr Taylor was unrelenting on the hardwood, but that was only part of her story. She completed her bachelor’s degree in exercise science in three years and in her final playing year earned a master’s degree in sport administration. During that time, she and her older brother, Blaise, a football standout at Arkansas State, founded their own non-profit, Power of 1 or 2, based on the idea that even one or two people can make a positive impact on the lives of others.
“You don’t have to do some grand gesture to make a difference in someone’s life. One small act can have a positive domino effect,” said Taylor. Currently, they are in the midst of their scholarship program in which they give $1,000 scholarships—dorm room, undergraduate and graduate scholarships—with recipients announced in May. They’re also doing their annual project prom program, getting girls prom dresses. Later this year, there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas events.
Today, Taylor is at Baylor University, where her parents met as student-athletes, doing an accelerated doctor of physical therapy program that she will complete this coming December. For her, it’s like a homecoming. She and her brother were born in Texas, and although she grew up in several cities as her father, Trooper Taylor, a college football coach (now at Duke), moved for different jobs, she sees Texas as home.
“I always credit my mom [Dr. Evi Taylor, a clinical assistant professor at the UNC School of Social Work] because she did an amazing job at making sure that we always felt a sense of home,” said Taylor. “We always gave back to our community, and that brought us a sense of community wherever we were living.”
Sports were also a driving force in their lives. It helped Starr and Blaise readily make friends in a new place as well as allowing them to meet and connect with a diverse range of people. Today, both are forging their futures in sports. Blaise is an advance scout for the Tennessee Titans, who hopes to become either a general manager or an athletic director.
“Physical therapy is one of the fields in health care that practices a holistic approach,” said Taylor, who is already a NASM certified personal trainer. “Being a former athlete, I can relate to other athletes, especially collegiate athletes. My ultimate goal is to be a sports physical therapist for a Division I or II sports program or a professional sports team.”