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By Asia Mangum

Amber Taylor is doing it all for her mother, Keisha Taylor, who is her greatest influence. “I’ve seen her struggle, and I just want better for her,” the Jackson native said.

Taylor, 18, graduated this year from Murrah High School and will be attending Dillard University starting in fall 2016. “I’m just trying to make it academically and not let my family down,” Taylor said.

Movies may be in Taylor’s future; she dreams of being a screenplay writer when she grows up, but she is majoring in accounting as a back-up plan. Writing is one of her hobbies, along with volleyball, acting and costume design.

Taylor says her biggest challenge is not giving up on her dreams. Sometimes she feels like not going to college, but doesn’t want to disappoint the ones she loves and pushes forward toward accomplishing her dreams. She is participating in the Youth Media Project because she wants to help give a platform to people who don’t have the platform to share them.

She is currently working on a supernatural story based in New Orleans on Fiction Press, a website where people can post short stories and poems.

“Black people are represented in literature through stories of segregation, slavery or the characters are uneducated,” she said. Taylor wants to tell stories involving black people of this day and age in a positive light.

Taylor believes Jackson has potential but says at the same time people are leaving to spend their money in other cities. “I think we need to be better about spending money in our own communities to help it and uplift Jackson,” she said.