When Taurus Patterson was looking at colleges, George Mason University struck him right away as a place that he could call a “second home.”
“I felt like I would be welcome,” said Patterson, 18. “Everyone I met was so nice, and it didn’t seem forced. When I visited the campus, people just started talking to me, and it was so natural. I already felt like I belonged.”
Patterson is a member of Mason’s Honors College, a University Scholar and a recipient of the Merten-Womble Scholarship. He says he’s looking forward to studying finance in the School of Business, and is considering a second major in public administration.
“A long time ago, I wanted to be president, and then I wanted to be a financial consultant,” Patterson said. “Really, I have a passion for both finance and politics, so I would like to be able to combine these interests.”
Born in Chesterfield, Virginia, Patterson graduated in the spring from the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies, a regional public high school in Richmond. Over the past few years, Patterson has worked at several fast food restaurants, which he says helped him learn how to interact with customers. He also said his time in the fast food industry made him think about what goes into making a business successful.
A diligent student, Patterson participated in a variety of civic-related extracurricular activities, including student government.
“I tried to run for student president twice and failed twice,” Patterson said. “I would get a little nervous toward the end when I had to make a speech, but I kept trying. I am a determined person.”
Patterson also loves learning new languages. After taking Spanish for several years, Patterson decided to also learn Italian, excelling in both. For two years, he received medals for his performance on the National Italian Exam Contest.
“Taurus is a hard worker. He also has a keen interest and a natural ability when it comes to languages,” said Susan Hefty, his high school Italian teacher.
Hefty predicts that Patterson will do well in college and beyond because of his work ethic, leadership skills and talents. In addition, Hefty said, Patterson is just a kind person.
“He’s genuinely caring and giving. He is a unique, special person, who will get as much as he can out of his education,” Hefty said. “He’ll make Mason proud.”