TRACEY KOEHLER and DREW TAYLOR, 2014 Young Heart Award Recipient


Tracey and Drew learned at an early age that serving others is what we are called to do as Christians and as responsible members of this community.

A GRADUATE OF PEPPERELL High School, Floyd College and North Georgia College and University, Tracey continued her education and received a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of West Georgia.  She received her Educational Specialist Degree from Lincoln Memorial University. She currently serves at Model High School as a Speech Language Pathologist.

Her volunteer activities began when she was in high school when she volunteered at Floyd Medical and continued through college. She continues to volunteer in outreach programs at Rome First United Methodist Church.

She is the leader of Rome Area Skills for Life program promoting life skills and independence to a group of autistic adults.  She mentors one of the students by encouraging her autistic gifts and raised money to take her on a dream visit to Disney World.

She leads a group called T.G.I.F. (Thank God I’m Forgiven) at Rome First United Methodist Church.  This is a group of adults with life challenges and disabilities.  They are taught life skills they desperately need.

She and her husband, Clayton, have an eight year old son, Clay.

Also a graduate of Pepperell High School, Drew attended Coosa Valley Technical College.

He became a volunteer with the Community Kitchen four years ago and found a passion for their ministry of feeding the hungry. He currently serves as manager of the Community Kitchen and has expanded the partnerships that exist with businesses and restaurants to secure donations of food. He works part time at Floyd Training Center where he supervises young men with disabilities.

He serves with Tracey as a mentor with the Skills for Life Program.  He too, has mentored a young man with autism exposing him to social situations and teaching him life skills.

Other volunteer activities include:
-Action Ministries of Rome annual -Jesus in the Park
– Volunteer community basketball, football and baseball coach
– Volunteers in Outreach programs at Rome First United Methodist Church

Allison Watters says “The individuals that Tracey and Drew serve are often times seen as “the least” in the community- hungry-disabled-life challenged,  but