DUNLAP, Ill. — This is a very big week for Dunlap’s Taylor Disharoon.
She she competes at the state tennis tournament outside Chicago and as soon as she gets home, she jumps into a role of community volunteer.
“I’m signed up to do some things after the season. This Sunday I’m helping at Wildlife Scary Park, volunteering there,” Disharoon said. “I just want to help out in my community any way I can.”
Disharoon is Dunlap’s top player in singles but she is also active in school activities. She is a member of Dunlap’s Interact Club, a student version of Rotary Club.
And she is a student member of the Leaders Change Illinois committee put together by Illinois state senator Chuck Weaver. The committee helps financially support projects that impact kids and neighborhoods.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to help my community, a great leadership opportunity to help me grow as a person,” said Disharoon.
Most people in Dunlap know the junior as a three-time state qualifier in tennis but she’s showing she’s more than just an athlete.
“A lot of the things Taylor does outside of school have to do with leadership, or she finds herself in leadership positions,” said Dunlap tennis coach Pat Gornik. “It’s showing her how to take charge and be confident.”
Leadership has come naturally for Dishroon. Something she started her freshman year continues as a tradition with the tennis team to this day.
Before every Dunlap match, she hosts a players-only meeting, no coaches involved. The meetings are called ‘Taylor Talks,’ and she does all the talking.
“I think it was my freshman year. I gave then this motivational talk before one of our first meets,” Disharoon recalled. “Then someone says,’ Hey, can you give us another Taylor Talk?’ It caught on.”
She is clearly leading by example on and off the tennis court.