Taylor James, Founder and Executive Director of Heart of Charity, is a fourteen-year-old 9th grader who resides in Columbia, MD. At the age of ten, Taylor started the organization to encourage volunteerism and raise funds for her two favorite charities – Food on the 15th and Cool Kids Campaign. Under her leadership, Heart of Charity has expanded its reach to support approximately ten organizations, donate over three thousand items, and secure nine major sponsors for its annual fundraiser, the Miss Heart of Charity Pageant (Miss HOC).
Food on the 15th, a program of the Coalition of Geriatric Services, operates on $0 overhead and delivers free groceries and toiletries to economically disadvantaged senior citizens in Jessup & Ellicott City, MD. In 4th grade, Taylor became involved with the organization through her school’s community outreach. She and her family assisted with collecting and sorting groceries as well as delivering them to the seniors on a monthly basis.
Taylor’s involvement with Cool Kids Campaign stemmed from her love of modeling. She was selected to participate in the 2012 American Girl Fashion Show, an annual fundraiser for Cool Kids, where she enjoyed modeling and helping to raise awareness for sick children. Devoted to improving the quality of life for pediatric oncology patients and their families, Cool Kids Campaign, headquartered in Towson, MD, focuses on the academic, social, and emotional needs brought on by a cancer diagnosis.
An honor student and distance learner at The Keystone School, Taylor is an avid volunteer who enjoys dancing, singing, cooking, and spending time with friends. She is an actor and a model, appearing in several short films and magazines and making her New York Fashion Week debut on the runway in February 2015. Taylor is also a pageant girl and has been competing since the age of nine. During that short time, she has earned not only state and local titles but two national and one international title as well. Taylor is currently the reigning USA National Miss Maryland Jr. Teen and the 2016 Jr. Teen National Role Model.
With a passion for community service and the desire to empower young women, Taylor is the recipient of four Gold-Level President’s Volunteer Service Awards and the creator, director, and choreographer of the Miss Heart of Charity Pageant.