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Outreach: Taylor Courtney

Taylor smiles warmly as she explains her work with the American Cancer Society.

Outreach showcases members of Central Austin Toastmasters who apply their skills in communication and leadership to help communities in Austin. It also gives them a moment to reflect on how far along they have journeyed through Toastmasters.

Today, we meet Taylor Courtney, a Patient Resource Specialist at the American Cancer Society (ACS). Taylor has also looked out for our guests and members as VP Membership.


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I graduated from UT Austin and joined the American Cancer Society (ACS) for my first nonprofit work. It has been 2 years now. I joined Toastmasters partly because of ACS. I talk to patients on a regular basis.

2. Tell us a bit about your organization. What made you decide to help them?

With my science background, I wanted to help cancer patients and work in a hospital setting, instead of a lab. That way, I would get to help people personally.

ACS is a national program that helps people directly and indirectly through legislations. I felt empowered when I joined them. I became informed on what patients go through and need. I became knowledgable about trends.

My family and friends weren't surprised because they knew I always wanted to help people. They were excited and proud that I got to do this.

3. How do you use communication and leadership skills? How has Toastmasters helped?

I give presentation to my coworkers and train new hires. I communicate what ACS does, the different programs within, what the new hires will help with. I also speak in a positive language when talking to cancer patients and providing background information on cancer.

Toastmasters has helped me speak to students in a more informative manner, more confidently. I know how to pause and how to listen to others.

4. Tell me about a person who has surprised you the most.

I always thought when patients received news on cancer, how they remain positive and happy throughout surprised me.

I know of a terminal, stage 4 breast cancer patient who called to check in on her friend in stage 2. She focused on her friend more than herself.

5. Fill in the blanks!

Helping people brings joy to my life, because I feel like I have a purpose.

In one year, I want to be someone who has made tangible impact on students' learning outcome and the number of people who help with volunteering.

6. What are some good ways for a person to help your organization? How can they reach you?

One is to become a volunteer driver for the Road to Recovery program. Every day thousands of cancer patients need a ride to their treatment, but some do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.

There are also several programs and fundraisers throughout the year, including Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

To learn more from ACS about how you can help, please visit

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