Issues of the world, meet your match. That’s what Marian University Freshman Mikayla Jette ’24 could say. She’s recognized for the Girl Scout’s highest honor: The Girl Scout Gold Award. The award, from one of the country’s largest Girl Scout councils in western Ohio, not only recognizes community service, but more importantly, leadership skills.
“Earning the Girl Scout’s highest honor is a major accomplishment and a true blessing,” Jette explained. “I learned a lot from this experience about myself, my community, and the importance of speaking up for things you are passionate about.”
Jette’s passion comes from teaching and being an example for younger generations. The Marian San Damiano Scholar says her enthusiasm led her to create her dance project called “Dancing in the Street.” She developed a one-week free dance camp for 28 boys and girls in kindergarten through fifth grade in her Union, Ohio hometown. The requirements for the Girl Scout Gold Award meant Jette had to plan, direct, and work with a team she managed to make sure her project came to fruition.
“Dance is so much deeper than just a sport or fun way to exercise,” Jette explained as she started taking dance lessons around the age of two, and still dances today. “It taught me discipline, teamwork, confidence, trust, expression, and so much more,” she added. Jette says each themed word was a reminder to the children on how to incorporate those qualities into their lives.
“I wanted to create an affordable program where youth could have the space to create and find themselves in a setting that was just for them,” she continued. “The youth deserve to use their voice and know their voice is important no matter how they use it.”
She said her experiences inspired her to share and create an atmosphere where others could create similar experiences and find a love for expression and creativity within themselves. That’s what energized Jette and her team to teach the children several dance styles such as ballet, lyrical, tap, hip-hop, jazz, and hula. Jette added they made crafts to go along with each style of dance and on the final day, they performed a mini-recital for their parents. “It was a welcome project the community needed after a long year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, adding they found a reason to smile.”
The Girl Scout of Western Ohio’s Gold Award Chair Suzanne Valle stressed earning the award is tough. “It’s not easy to reach the gold award status,” she said. “You must have the discipline to create, develop, and direct your project on your own.” While the silver and bronze awards are team-driven, the gold status is individually earned.
“You’ve really got to be dedicated and motivated because some girls, for whatever reason, find the requirements tough as it can take up to a year to complete,” Valle stressed.
Jette is among 29 other young women across the Midwest who received the Gold Award recognition earlier this month. It’s an accomplishment that can be added to her resume as the award is recognized as a high achievement. Some even compare the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award to the more widely known Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award.
“Dancing though life, dancing in the street, dance like no one’s watching aren’t just fun slogans and song titles,” Jette concluded. “They are mottos for life that remind us to let go, be creative, and use our bodies and minds to reveal a voice that can’t be heard through words.”
See more about Jette’s accomplishments on the Girl Scout website by clicking here.