Kaylynn Woolfolk uses education to make a difference

Master’s of Science in Education student Kaylynn Woolfolk, of Chicago, is a commencement speaker at this year’s graduation. 

As Woolfolk’s college career comes to its end, she reflected on the opportunities she had to volunteer and be involved with the young, which she said is her calling.

Woolfolk has done a number of things outside of school. She has a passion for being involved in programs and organizations that provide mentorship and unique opportunities to young adults in low-income areas, such as East St. Louis, Illinois. 

Woolfolk said she is most proud of her involvement with the TRIO Upward Bound Program and her internship with Saint Louis University College of Pharmacy’s Higher Education department. 

“I really am grateful I got to be a part of TRIO Upward Bound for two years and the internship at Saint Louis University. Those two experiences have helped me get to where I am today,” Woolfolk said.

Ashton Greene, a close friend of Woolfolk from Jefferson City, Missouri, believes that Woolfolk will be an asset wherever she decides to work. 

“One thing that I love about Kaylynn is that she is always open and willing to learn. She is always ready to learn something new, ready to attack assignments and projects. She is one person that I know will get the work done. She definitely works hard. Kaylynn loves to keep herself busy along with work, school and volunteer as well,” Greene said. “When Kaylynn graduates, I think that her most important role in society is going to be communicating with young adults because she has a really great story and has overcome a lot, so being there for people and helping mentor young adults and children is a great asset to what she has to bring to the table.”

Woolfolk is a cheerleading coach at Gateway Stem High School in St. Louis, where she has built a strong rapport and trust with many young girls. She participated in American College Personnel Association Convention in Boston, where she did a case study competition for higher education and won third place. Woolfolk also did a practicum experience with Tarsha Moore, who is the assistant director of student diversity and inclusion. 

Cierra Wourman, of Fairview Heights, Illinois, a close friend of Woolfolk, said that Woolfolk’s dependability is one thing she really appreciates.

“Kaylynn is the type of person that will quit what she’s doing to help someone else out. She is always trying to see what she can do for others, and that’s what young people need … people who truly care. And if she can’t help, she doesn’t mind letting you know,” Wourman said. 

Woolfolk believes that it is important for young minorities to have people to look up to that understand them culturally, personally and can empathize with some of the changes they have gone through. 

“I have gone through so much in my life, and I know how helpful it is to have someone who looks like you to help you and relate to you. I want to be that person to so many people. It’s my passion and my calling to work with the youth, and I want to see them through their struggles. I think young people have a chance to change the world,” Woolfolk said. 

In Woolfolk’s free time, she really enjoys taking boot camp fitness and yoga classes. The Yoga Collective is where one can find her during her free time. 

Woolfolk hopes that her experience in higher education allows her to move up the ranks and become a director for student support services at a university.

“I want to be remembered for how I made people feel and the difference I made in their lives,” Woolfolk said. “It is so important to be kind to others, and I strive to do it every day. I want to be the voice and the light for those who have a voice but are afraid to use it. I am excited for what’s to come and trust God and the path he has for me,” 

Woolfolk will speak at 9 a.m. Saturday Dec. 14 at the Vadalabene Center.

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