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Oklahoma motivational speaker seeks to inspire at-risk students

Motivational speaker Corey D. Taylor of Tulsa hopes to inspire at-risk students by sharing his story and presenting Rising Star awards.
by Ken Raymond Published: November 7, 2012

The idea is to inspire at-risk students to aim higher. By sharing his experiences, Taylor hopes students will realize that they can succeed, that they have something special and unique to offer the world. Such realizations are especially important in this age of cyberbullying and high teen suicide rates, he said.

A recent visit with comedian Bill Cosby inspired Taylor to launch the tour.

“I had the opportunity to meet him briefly when he came to Tulsa maybe 2 ½ or three weeks ago,” Taylor said. “Hearing him talk just set all this stuff rolling around inside of me, ideas I'd been having for a long time. He called on us to put legs to our ideas.”

Taylor, who won 2012 Midwest Emmy and Telly awards as a producer of “The Wayman Tisdale Story,” realized it was time for him to give back.

“This is just the first year, the inaugural year,” said Taylor, who hopes to expand his Rising Star program to a national effort. “We're going to do this every November and December. Next year we'll have more schools and give out more awards.”

For more about Taylor's motivational tour, go online to

by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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We're looking for kids who have gone through hardship in their life, but they kept on pressing and moved past those obstacles. … They've got to show resiliency. They've bounced back from hardship and adversity. They will have decent grades, not necessarily As and Bs but maybe mostly Bs and Cs, something that shows they're improving.”

Corey D. Taylor

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