First-Year Leadership Opportunity (FLO) is an Associated Students program designed specifically for first-year students looking for ways to get involved with the Chico State campus and community. Each month one member is chosen by their fellow FLO members and peers as the person who has stood out and shown FLO’s core values. This month's FLO representative is Wendy Taliaferro.

Wendy Taliaferro, a 60-year-old student who transferred from Yuba College. She is currently pursuing a degree in Communication Science and Disorder with a minor in special education. While at Yuba College, Wendy held the position of President of Student Government, participated in the Sociology Club, and served as a student representative for the LEAD Community (Leadership for Equity Achievement and Diversity). She graduated as the oldest student in her class at Yuba College.


Like many first-year students, Wendy expressed that she "felt like a goldfish in a big ocean." Having been actively involved at Yuba College, she experienced a sense of being lost and frustrated in her new school environment. However, Wendy's encounter with a familiar face, Brooke M McCall, FLO's Instructor on Record, changed things. Introduced to FLO by Brooke, Wendy attended the first meeting with her daughter, and immediately, they both sensed they had found their place. Wendy noted that joining FLO provided them with a strong sense of community, making them feel connected on campus and creating a feeling of home.

FLO has diverse effects on students, and for Wendy, it played a significant role in strengthening her relationship with her daughter. Through FLO, they gained the chance to perceive each other in a new light, fostering a friendship dynamic rather than solely a mother-daughter relationship. Wendy and her daughter now appreciate the opportunity to enjoy each other's company and share a bond as friends.

Selecting a FLO-mie of the Month is a means for FLO to acknowledge students who go above and beyond, demonstrating exceptional leadership qualities. Wendy was pleasantly surprised when she was announced as FLO-mie of the Month. Initially taken aback, she found herself thinking, "Me? They want me as FLO-mie of the Month?" Wendy had never anticipated receiving such recognition, and the award not only boosted her confidence within FLO but also motivated her to stay actively engaged with campus life.

flo group

Despite sometimes feeling disconnected from campus due to her age, Wendy now experiences a stronger connection to Chico State. She sees herself as an inspiration for older students and a role model for the younger ones, a sentiment that has further deepened her sense of belonging within the university community.

As Wendy looks ahead to her remaining time at Chico State, her goals and aspirations reflect a commitment to personal and community growth. She aims to complete her major and gain entry into a master's program, ultimately pursuing a career as a Speech Pathologist. Beyond academics, Wendy is determined to be a voice for fellow students, advocating for diversity and equity while actively involving others in college life. She pictures herself as a mentor, fostering connections among students and supporting them during their early days on campus. Wendy also has dreams of launching her own small business and encouraging entrepreneurship in others. Additionally, she seeks to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community, promoting conversation over violence and striving to create a safer, more interconnected community. Most importantly, Wendy aims to establish a club for individuals aged 40 and above, providing support and resources for older students and fostering a sense of community among this demographic.

Wendy thanks the FLO program for being a source of inspiration. She encourages students to join, mentioning FLO's ability to encourage involvement and develop strong leadership skills. Wendy attributes her growth to the program, emphasizing its value for personal and professional development.