Women’s History Month Feature: SU Shines the Light on Mrs. Tracy Jerrell-Taylor


In honor of Women’s month, it is time to reflect and celebrate women, their accomplishments and struggles that have shaped them into the upstanding women they have become. This month’s feature shines light on Mrs. Tracey Jarrell-Taylor and her experiences that have molded her into the woman she is today. Mrs. Taylor’s philanthropic attitude shaped her outlook on life.

Coming from humble beginnings, Mrs. Taylor credits her willingness to help others to her mother, the late Mamie Johnson. She describes her mother as “a lady of character and always positive and giving to everyone.” Her mother taught her that family always comes first and she has carried that same philosophy having a family of her own. Graduating in 1992 with a degree in marketing, Taylor went to work at the Department of Revenue of Louisiana and later moved to Texas working with various oil and gas companies: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Marathon Oil, and Lynn Oil. After being laid off, she started to question her path and where she stood in her life. In 1997 after the loss of her cousin, Taylor helped plan the funeral where she eventually found her niche and aspired to become a funeral director. She found this to be her way of helping others and realized this is what she wanted to do. After a while she was unsure if that was what she wanted until her mother’s death in 2003. After losing her mother, she helped prepare the body and continued to pray about her path and for God to lead her in the right direction. Years later she finds herself back at her alma mater, Southern University, helping students and faculty while pursuing her doctoral degree. In spite of lay-offs and disappointments she still managed to come out on top and not let her setbacks define or shape her in any way. Taylor has gone on to become the first female Vice President of the Southern University Alumni Federation and eventually will pursue her entrepreneurial dreams of owning her own funeral home and continuing to serve others just as her mother, Mamie Johnson who continues to be her inspiration.

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