COE student earns highest Girl Scout award

By Jeannette Cruz
GCU News Bureau

While the Girl Scouts share a mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place, it was how Kaylynn Vavrick, a freshman at Grand Canyon University, discovered her passion for teaching.

It began with developing and completing the Gold Award Project, a sustainable service project that will give back to the community long after she moves on from Troop 633.

Vavrick, a skilled dancer since age 3 and a member of Girl Scouts since she was 6, saw an opportunity to combine her years of dance and leadership skills by providing dance classes for children of underprivileged families. In the process, she also found herself inspired to pursue a degree in Elementary Education at GCU.

“I’ve always had a curiosity to teach younger children, and working with these kids encouraged me more,” Vavrick said.

She began by reaching out to her church and the local Boys & Girls Club. Although Vavrick’s idea initially didn’t gain a quick audience, she continued with her plan.

“I would pass out flyers, host informational nights for parents and eventually put in hundreds of hours,” Vavrick said.

Finally, every Thursday over the course of seven weeks, Vavrick taught more than a dozen preschool and elementary school children the fundamentals of jazz dance and earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. The prestigious award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.

“When I first began the class I was very fearful of whether or not the students would like my class, but now every single time I walk into the classroom I get so excited because the kids won’t stop smiling,” she said.

Vavrick said she wants to showcase her students’ competence in a dance recital, combining dance and puppets, in early June.

As the dancers prepare for their performance, Vavrick confesses, “I've learned that teaching is not easy — it takes a lot of dedication, but I'm not giving up.”

She's also not completely leaving the Girl Scouts. In fact, as she takes on her teaching venture at GCU, she's co-leading the troop along with her mother, Theresia.

“It’s the perfect kind of bonding,” she said.

Contact Jeannette Cruz at (602) 639-6631 or [email protected].

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