A plan to take on the world

Times Staff Writer

At 11 years old, Taylore Daniel has her future already well planned. She hopes to move to New York City to start her career as a lawyer while at the same time perfecting the hip-hop moves she has taught herself by watching music videos.

Her first stop there will be the Times Square Toys “R” Us, the chain’s flagship store that boasts a working Ferris wheel, a two-story Barbie dollhouse and an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex.

“There are so many things you can see,” Taylore says of the city. “I can’t wait to see all the people and the taxis....I’ll move back on holidays though,” she says to her aunt reassuringly.

“She is passionate about fashion and always trying to make her point,” her aunt says of Taylore’s penchant for fashion, dance and debate.


Taylore moved in with her aunt, Chonette Smith, when she was only 18 months old and her older sister, Jardane, was 5. Their mother left the girls with Smith, moving to Kansas City to deal with personal problems. She later returned to Los Angeles, but the children continued to live in Pomona with Smith. Taylore and Jardane keep in touch with their mother and see her on special occasions.

“We just go on with our life as it is, and when she pops in, she pops in,” Smith says of her sister while cradling her own newborn son. “We don’t talk about her much because it hurts them.”

This summer, Taylore and Jardane went to camp through the Girl Scouts Council of Orange County at the five-day Camp Scherman near Idyllwild.

A true fashion queen, Taylore found the one-shower-per-week rule a hard one. But she also made great memories of camp, such as when she was allowed to eat her breakfast in a kayak in the middle of a lake. Though afraid of heights, Taylore was able to lift her small frame over large boulders when she went rock climbing, and she swam in the camp’s deep pool every day.


“I want to concentrate on keeping them busy and happy,” Smith says. “At camp, they get a little more learning and gain outdoor skills. They’re growing girls, and they need to grab hold of anything they can to make it part of their memories.”

Taylore is among the 12,000 children who have gone to camp this summer, thanks to $2.1 million raised in the Los Angeles Times Summer Camp Campaign last year. Donations this season will ensure that just as many deserving children get the camp experience next summer.

The annual fundraising campaign is part of the Los Angeles Times Family Fund of the McCormick Tribune Foundation, which this year will match the first $1.2 million in contributions at 50 cents on the dollar.

Donations are tax-deductible. For more information, call (213) 237-5771. To make donations by credit card, go to


To send checks, use the attached coupon. Don’t send cash.

Unless requested otherwise, gifts of $50 or more will be acknowledged in The Times.