SMU graduate’s passion for politics fuels dreams of high office

SMU graduate Evan Taylor talks about his dream of becoming president of The United States.

The Dallas Morning News

Many recent college graduates struggle to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Not Evan Taylor. He wants to be president.

Evan TaylorNot only is the 21-year-old political science major and recent SMU graduate fascinated by what the position represents in American history and policy, he hopes to leave his personal mark on Washington.

“It started in my senior government class in high school,” Taylor said. “I was interested in the trickle-down of leadership and how it affects people.”

As a 17-year-old student at Keller High School in Tracy Arsenault’s classroom, an interest in the profession of politics began.

“I joke with her now that any inauguration I have, she would be in front. Without her, my interest in political science would not happen,” Taylor said.

He decorated his (SMU) dorm room with portraits of his favorite presidents — George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He covered his bed with a throw rug with the presidential seal, and a statue of a bald eagle sits on the floor.

“I do believe I will be president one day,” Taylor said. “I don’t know how I’ll get there, but I will.”

To move beyond friendly high school basketball player and drum-line standout, he has tried making his name known.

He did what any small-town politician would do. He shook hands — with a viselike grip from years banging drums — and introduced himself. He remembered details about anyone he met.

“Evan is passionate and gets to know everything about everyone — their home, where they are from — and gives people a chance to talk and get their points known,” his girlfriend, Michelle Ivy, said.

He said he wants to take that approach to the classroom as he begins the next step of his life with Teach for America in Memphis, Tenn.

“I love people,” he said. “People will be my primary focus, and if I can, I will approach every student as an individual.”

His first professional experience in politics came as an intern for state Sen. Jane Nelson. He interned for state Rep. Vicki Truitt and most recently served as an intern in Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ office in 2012.

“The reason I did local internships was to see how people that directly represent me worked,” Taylor said. “I had more interest in that hands-on approach.”

And from the time in the offices, visions of a life in politics grew.

Read the full story. (A subscription may be required.)