Former Miss Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Anquinette “Annie” Taylor, is no stranger to leading the pack.
Taylor made her mark at FAMU as a “go-getter.” Her outgoing personality allowed her to make an impact on several campus organizations, such as Student Government Association, Orientation Leader and member of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
During her reign as Miss FAMU, Taylor spearheaded a women's empowerment event titled, “It’s A Hard Knock Life.” The purpose of the event was to identity and ease depression and self-esteem issues in the African American community.
Being the creative she is, Taylor graduated with a degree in public relations from the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.
Today, her hard work continues as a media buyer at ZenithOpiMedia, a marketing and advertising agency in New York City. Taylor assists sales agents in efforts to obtain the best values for advertisement placements and campaigns.
“After visiting New York a few times, I knew this is where I had to be,” said Taylor.
Although Taylor does not see herself in advertising permanently, she does appreciate the knowledge she has acquired in the media industry.
The road to the Big Apple was not easy for Taylor, but she knew it would be worth it.
Upon graduating Taylor worked at Enterprise Car Rentals in her hometown of Orlando.
“I definitely did not want to go back to Orlando but not finding a job in my field after graduating, I had no other choice,” said Taylor. “Everything happens for a reason.”
Growing up in Orlando was not easy for the 109th Miss FAMU.
“I lived in several different parts of Orlando. Many people there can be so uptight, I didn't feel like I could be the creative I am,” said Taylor. “But when I got to FAMU I was comfortable, I had so many people making sure I had everything I needed to succeed.”
During the spring semester of 2015, Taylor ran a campus wide election in hopes of becoming the Miss FAMU. And she did just that.
The FAMU Royal Court is responsible for representing their respective classes and the entire university on and off campus. The Royal Court also assists with recruiting high school students.
Kayla Gallego is a senior biology major from Miramar. She also served as Miss Freshman under Taylor.
“Annie was literally the glue that held us all together. With so many girls on the court, it was hard to make decisions on what events we would have, down to what we would wear,” said Gallego. “Annie was a great leader, she helped us every step of the way during our reign”.
FAMU alumna Ariana Wilder also served on the Royal Court alongside Gallego and Taylor as Miss Senior. Wilder is now a student at Savannah College of Art and Design studying graphic design. She is also a member of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., where she and Taylor are line sisters.
“While working on the court with Annie, I never felt like I was on the Royal Court. Sure we had to follow our duties as court members and act accordingly, but it was fun being around Annie and helping her reign as Miss FAMU,” said Wilder.
So, what's next for Taylor? She is currently creating an outlet titled, “Just Trippin’,” a self-help platform used to share testimonies of college and life experiences.
“It’s kind of like Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul. I want others to be able to join in and share how their obstacles and how they overcame them,” said Taylor.