Taylor Hill had her life figured out by the end of middle school. She was going to be a cosmetologist. That changed when the Severn resident began her freshman year at Glen Burnie High School and signed up for courses at Center of Applied Technology North.
She liked the idea of mixing colors and applying them — turning a plain surface into an object of beauty. But, instead of studying cosmetology, she took up a paint spray gun in an automotive repair and refinishing course.
“I cannot do without cars,” said Taylor, a senior. “I love them. I work in a body shop now as part of a Level 3 Work-Study program at O’Donnell Collision Repairs as a painter’s helper, estimator and apprentice. I receive credit hours and I get paid.”
Her junior year, Taylor was the SkillsUSA Maryland first-place winner in auto refinishing. At the national SkillsUSA competition, held in Kentucky, she took third place. At the national contest, she said, 40 teens were vying for the top spot, among them three girls and 37 boys.
“Two girls won two of the top spots,” she said. “I was one point away from second place and 50 points away from first place with a score of 830 points. I am practicing and honing my skills as I plan to compete again this year.”
Tera Harnish, a longtime neighbor of the Hill family, said Taylor is a very loyal, faithful and dependable friend to her daughter, Tonya.
“She is a very smart young lady and has her mind set on her future, as an auto refinisher. Most girls would have quit being the only girl in a class full of guys. Not Taylor. She is driven and very determined to make her mark on the auto industry.”
Harnish said Taylor is like a second daughter to her, and, along with her family members, “we all love her and are very proud of her.”
Taylor, an honor roll student, credits her English instructor Mark Terrence with teaching her how to take notes during class and while studying a textbook. She plans to utilize the techniques to enhance her memorization and competitive skills.
“I’m focused on winning at nationals and going to the WorldSkills competition,” she said. “It is held every two years and the first place winners from each year have first choice as to whether or not they will go. This year’s competition is in Dubai.”
The teen enjoys painting and refinishing vehicles, but is learning how to take engines and other car parts apart and put them back together.
“When I’m refinishing a car,” Taylor said, “nothing else matters. I just get lost in what I’m doing. It is definitely what I want to do for the rest of my life.
“I always liked cars, but not to fix cars until high school. … I like fast cars but not super fancy ones — not Lamborghinis or Porsches.”
She said she likes cars from Japan such as the Nissan 240 SX, preferably S14s from 1995 and newer.
“My dream is owning a ’97 model,” she said.
She recently installed an “Angry Bird” matte black grill on the front end of her 2012 Jeep Wrangler. Taylor likes Jeeps, too, even more so after her father purchased a 1997 Jeep Wrangler.
Her mother, Jenifer Hill, is the founder and owner of M3 Builders LLC, a general contracting company specializing in new construction of single-family houses. Milton Bond Hill III, Taylor’s father, is an M3 Builders carpenter. Big sister Morgan Hill, 21, lives near Seattle and works in the restaurant business. Younger sister Lyndsay Hill, 15, is a sophomore at Glen Burnie High. Her brother 11-year-old Milton “Miles” Bond Hill IV is a sixth-grader at Corkran Middle School.
The family has a variety of pets, among them Lily, a 1-year-old red-tailed boa constrictor; Arina, a chinchilla; Snickers, a Rottweiler mix; and a Labrador mix named Skye, plus four cats.
Taylor plans to go to WyoTech-Blairsville in Pennsylvania in October to attend courses to hone her skills in automotive refinishing, repair, maintenance and customization and earn an associate degree.
One class focuses on automotive refinishing, a shorter course offers instruction in managing a business’s books, estimating repair and replacement costs and applied service management. Taylor dreams of someday opening her own customization shop.
She takes two classes in the morning before heading off to O’Donnell Collision Repairs in the afternoon. In her spare time, she said she likes to immerse herself in the visual arts and draw. She is also relishes listening to poetry spoken aloud in her ceative writing class and writing her own poems.
With her maternal grandfather Charles Davis, she occasionally hunts deer and turkey on the Eastern Shore. The two also like to go fishing for catfish together.
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