Bettye R. Taylor of Hernando has been selected as the 2011 Mississippi winner for the AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service. It is the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service. This award symbolizes an individual’s power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others.
See Also: Andrus Award named after AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus
An independent panel of judges reviewed applications from across the state. Taylor was selected for her remarkable service and for the impact she has had on the lives of others and on her community.
Taylor has been volunteering for several decades, and her motto is “helping others!” The retired educator worked 28 years in the Springfield (IL) Public Schools. Her community service includes volunteering for the Emergency Management Agency where she assists children who have been hit by disasters. She also volunteers with the Hernando Community Garden Advisory Committee and the Headstart We Grow Program.
Taylor serves with the Horn Lake Seniors In Action as a volunteer at the M.R. Dye Public Library in Horn Lake. Through the RSVP Program, she volunteers with Porter-Leath, a service that provides tutors to students at Hernando Hills School.
She also volunteers with Shepherd Center’s Senior Outreach Program driving members to and from appointments. She is an AARP Driver Safety instructor and president of AARP Chapter 5371.
Taylor attends Parkway Garden United Presbyterian Church and serves in the Sunday School Ministry. She and her late husband have two daughters: the late Valencia A. Hughes and Sherryle B. Puryear, and four grandchildren. Taylor is the only living sibling of her late parents’ seven children.
The AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service recognizes individuals who, through volunteer service, are significantly enhancing the lives of individuals age 50 and older. The award was formally presented to Bettye Taylor at an AARP Mississippi Volunteer Appreciation Awards Luncheon in Jackson on Oct. 19.
“This award acts as a symbol to the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” said AARP Mississippi State President Bruce W. Brice, Sr. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve.”
Recipients across the nation were chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.