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Jordan Taylor, 31, was a sports and team director for the Y in Catonsville killed in his Gwynn Oaks home in November.
Jordan Taylor, 31, was a sports and team director for the Y in Catonsville killed in his Gwynn Oaks home in November. (Photo courtesy the Catonsville Y/HANDOUT)

During the decade he worked with children at The Y in Catonsville, Jordan Taylor was never fully aware of the impact he was creating every day, his mother said.

The youth sports director made a point of engaging with more reserved children or those with special needs, Julie Taylor said about her son.

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“There was definitely something that Jordan brought to these kids that resonated with them, made the feel valued, made them feel special,” she said.

Known as “Coach Jordan,” he tried to learn something personal about every child he met to “make them feel special,” said Dawn Chrystal-Wolfe, executive director at the Catonsville Y.

That legacy led the Catonsville Y to launch the Jordan Taylor Youth Development Fund, a campaign to honor the memory of Jordan Taylor who was shot and killed in his Gwynn Oak home last month. In just 10 days since its launch, has received over $10,000.

“If you have kids involved with our Y in Catonsville in any way, your kid would’ve come across Jordan,” said John Hoey, chief executive officer of the Y of Central Maryland. “I was just struck by the fact that every kid just loved him. All the counselors looked up to him — that kind of stuff sticks with you.”

Taylor began working at summer camps at the Catonsville Y while he pursued a master’s degree in history at James Madison University, then a second master’s degree in education from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, earning numerous promotions leading to his position directing youth sports programs.

Taylor’s death, still under investigation, resounded throughout the Catonsville community. His viewing service was standing room only, his mother said, and a vigil held at the Catonsville Y saw current and former Y colleagues and parents turn out to share stories about Taylor’s life.

“The outpouring of support, really has been remarkable,” Hoey said.

The fund “really is the best way to honor his legacy, which is to continue allowing children to participate in these various programs that Jordan grew, was responsible for, and put his passion and his effort into,” Julie Taylor said.

Money raised through the campaign, which now has a goal of $15,000, will be disbursed among local families applying for financial assistance at the Catonsville Y and will support various programs with which Taylor was involved during his decade working at the Y, Hoey said.

“Jordan was all about personal impact,” Hoey said. “This fund ultimately ensures as many kids as possible get that type of experience,” regardless of income level, he said.

The Y of Central Maryland offers financial assistance to households that make up to three times the federal poverty threshold, Hoey said.

Donations will be accepted and administered on a rolling basis to families who want to enroll their kids in Catonsville Y’s after-school and two Catonsville pre-school programs, the Baltimore County Head Start program, summer camps, or youth sports, which Taylor managed, among other programs.

The fund is not capped at $15,000, and donations will continue to be accepted in perpetuity when the goal is surpassed, Hoey said.

There’s been an “outpouring of people wanting to do something, because of the impact that [Jordan] had,” Julie Taylor said. “That just spoke volumes that, you know, what he was doing really, really, really mattered.”

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The Y in Catonsville is due to dedicate its rock-climbing wall next year to Taylor, who overcame a fear of heights to teach Y users how to climb it, Julie Taylor said. Specifics about the dedication will be announced shortly, according to Hoey.

Nothing can replace her son, but Julie Taylor hopes his life serves as a reminder for people to “reach to higher levels,” and to see the little good things they do throughout the week as contributing a larger, greater impact; even if it may not feel like they’re making a difference, she said.

“I don’t believe that he fully comprehended the impact that he was having, and likely would have continued to have,” Julie Taylor said. “A lot of people out there doing things right now probably feel the same way.”

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