From OCC to Farmington City Council to the Cover of Time Magazine

OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan – Journalist, vice president of Preservation Farmington, and the youngest candidate and top finisher elected to Farmington City Council, Maria Taylor carries an impressive resume. Add gracing the recent cover of Time Magazine® among a group of women deemed 'The Avengers,' and 2018 is shaping up to be another exciting year for this OCC Alum.

Less than 10 years ago, Taylor was a student at OCC's Orchard Ridge campus in Farmington Hills, working hard to not lose points for speaking too fast in faculty member Carole Bennett's public speaking class, and trying to figure out credits toward graduation with her counselor, Rhonda Brown. While she had an interest in serving the community –she had worked at the historic Warner Mansion in downtown Farmington and marched with the community Warnerettes—Taylor credits OCC for preparing her to serve in her current role as Farmington City Council Member.

"When you go to a commuter college your classmates come from all walks of life. Older, younger, different races and religions—all different backgrounds. That's what the real world is like and that's a valuable experience to have when it comes to serving the community," said Taylor. "There's a common misconception about community colleges as a place to go when students find they can't get into a four-year institution. My experience absolutely discredits that myth: I found OCC to be top tier in instruction and experience, where the instructors really care about their students."

Her advice to future and current students: consider dual enrollment while in high school and take a public speaking class. The latter she clarified by stating, "Experience in public speaking really helps in any profession."

After graduating from OCC in 2010 with a degree in Liberal Arts, Taylor went on to study English at Alma College. She served on the Farmington Historical Commission in 2014-2015 before co-founding Preservation Farmington and securing a seat on the Farmington City Council in 2017.

TIME Magazine's story on 'The Avengers' describes "an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards" through the eyes of those trailblazers.

About OCC - With multi campus system throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve.  More than 40,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at


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