The annual SCV Signal Newspaper’s “Top 51” event is a truly exciting time for the community and beyond, in that the newspaper honors residents, employees and volunteers in the community who have made a positive impact. Oftentimes the honorees are not in the spotlight, but are quietly working behind the scenes to benefit the community.
Last year AMS CEO Ken Wiseman was recognized as the top #51 honoree because of the impact that he and by extension all of AMS is having in the community. AMS was described as a “…depot of goodwill and community service.” Under Ken’s leadership, AMS reaches out to employ young people who are at-risk, individuals with developmental disabilities, the homeless, victims of domestic violence and criminal offenders who are rebuilding their lives.
This year Signal honorees were recognized in 10 categories, including emerging leaders, volunteerism/unsung heroes, non-profits, health care, economic development, technology, business, government, hospitality/philanthropy and education.
The top one, of the ‘Top 51” in 2017 was Taylor Kellstrom. Taylor is a young man, age 27, whose work as an entrepreneur and philanthropist has been outstanding. He has undertaken the task of helping young people in the community with ventures that include the SCV Book Exchange to equip College of the Canyons students with affordable textbooks. He leads the nonprofit Circle of Hope, and also conducts his own charity event, Bowling for Kids. According to Taylor, he has done these things because, as he said, “I know what it is like to be young and face adversities.”
In a speech introducing Taylor, Ken Wiseman went into detail about the admirable work of this young man, and why the community is so proud of him. Ken talked about the dedication it took to establish The SCV Book Exchange, which is a business that benefits COC students, and to his success in obtaining a real estate license at UCLA and working as a realtor at HomeSmart. Ken also spoke about Taylor’s motocross pro touring in high school and the resulting broken bones and visits to Children’s hospital for care.
Ken said, “Seven years ago, in respect for the Children’s Hospital, Taylor started a Bowling Tournament called Bowling for Kids as a fundraiser. The tournament led to Taylor being nominated as the Hospital’s Man of The Year. At that Man of the Year event, Circle of Hope approached Taylor with an invitation to join their board. He is now President of the board, overseeing their mission, with three fund raisers, and a new project they are launching.”
Ken expressed the gratitude of the community and of AMS with his closing words: “A lot of us wait until we are much older in life to ‘give back’. Taylor is already there. He has experienced so much in his first 27 years, and he knows that you don’t accomplish greatness by yourself.”
AMS offers thanks to the SCV Signal Newspaper, and to all of the ‘Top 51” leaders for their great efforts on behalf of the Santa Clarita Valley community. Congratulations Taylor Kellstrom!!