Small Talk with Taelyr Roberts
Taelyr Roberts ’15 is a busy person. She’s president of the Slam Poetry
Club, vice president of the Black Student Union, and student coordinator
of the Barton Road After-School Program, which offers activities for
children living in a local public housing complex. And, until recently,
Roberts ran a successful jewelry-making business that she had to close
only because she was receiving too many orders.
Photo: Pat Piasecki
One wonders, how does she do it all? “The grace of God,” says
Roberts, who’s from Dallas. “I’m serious. There is no explanation for me
doing all that I do and remaining sane other than divine intervention.”
How important is being creative to you? Oh, extremely
important. I think business is an affinity of mine, but I don’t
by any stretch of the imagination believe that I am a business
student. I am a liberal arts student at a business
school. Creativity is a huge part of who I am.
What’s it like reading poetry on stage? You honestly fall
in love with the microphone, and you fall in love with the
experience. There’s just something about it that leaves you
feeling refreshed. You leave all that you have on the stage,
and to know that people appreciate you for being willing to
do that, it’s really rewarding.
Tell us about the Barton Road program. The students that
I work with live in a Wellesley Housing Authority development.
Their parents might be living paycheck to paycheck,
but they’re in Wellesley. There’s a very apparent socioeconomic
divide in their classrooms, in their lunchrooms. I
think that produces a very weird dynamic and a really weird
head space for a child. I think it’s important that they can
come to a place where they feel loved and appreciated and
valued. I hope that we provide that. I think we do.
What are you particularly proud of? My relationships are
something that I’m incredibly proud of. I was talking to a
couple of friends who told me, you give the greatest hugs.
I was like, I don’t know what makes my hugs different than
anybody else’s. And one of them said, “They’re genuine.
You give hugs with love, and you give them with sincerity.”
I was like, OK, maybe that’s it. Because I don’t hug people
who I don’t want to hug.
How’s New England treating you? The biggest thing I’m
still getting over is people aren’t as friendly. You can walk
down the street in Dallas and say, “Hi, how are you doing,”
and people won’t look at you weird. If I did the same thing
in New England, someone might think I’m crazy.—John Crawford