Meet Coral Reef High School Senior and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient, Jalynn D. Her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Hearts For Art was launched in June 2019 in response to the depleting number of art programs available throughout the county and offers free art lessons for students from preschool through the fifth grade. The program addresses a host of challenges that students today struggle with including mental health, lack of cultural awareness and lack of art education, and as a result participating students gain self-confidence, develop a positive outlet to channel potential frustrations, and learned a new skill.
We recently sat down with Jalynn to see how her project is coming along and learned that she has far exceeded her original goal, completing a total of six classes with an additional four classes and two murals on the way. “Smiling faces and excitement” have been the reward for Jalynn who plans on continuing the program for long after her Gold Scout Gold Award is over. The program has received high praises from leaders throughout the county including Children’s Trust, Chapman partnerships and the Miami-Dade Library, Florida Voices United, The Little Lighthouse Foundation and CBS Miami.
Here’s a little more about what Jalynn had to say about what sparked her desire to pursue this path of local leadership.
Describe Your Project
My project addresses the exclusion of Art in public school while encouraging students to express themselves through art. I used art education to push positive and creative thinking. My goal is to help young children use art as a tool to improve mental health, quality of education, and help jumpstart artistic careers.
How is your project sustainable? Tell us how it will continue on once complete.
I established and executed contracts with the Second Baptist Church Community Development Corporation, the Coral Reef Senior High school's National Art Honor Society, and the Children's Trust Youth Advisory Committee South Dade Chapter which outlines their commitment to Art education. I’m also in the process of designing two murals for the Little Disciples Preschool and the Miami Bridge's Homestead Campus that will spread the positivity throughout the community for years to come.
What gave you the inspiration to approach this topic the way that you did?
My younger self inspired me to create this project. As a young artist in elementary school, I treasured my school's art classes and murals. As I grew up, school's lost their art programs and the beauty that came with it. I wanted to bring the arts and the beauty back to the schools.
Why is this project important to you, personally?
As a young child, I wanted to become an artist. I wished I had a project or outlet that could teach me how to become confident in my abilities and helped me become a budding artist. I wanted to be the person I needed when I was younger.
What was the biggest challenge you overcame and how?
I struggled with anxiety over the thought of teaching young children and over time, I overcame it. As I taught my classes, I grew as an artist and became confident in my own abilities to lead and create.
How does this project contribute to your goals for the future?
This project helped me grow in my abilities to lead and help others create bright futures. In the future, I want to create my own non-profit focused on career readiness, college preparation, and art education.
What did you learn about your community in this process?
I learned that every community, with support, can create positive change and see the beauty in your surroundings.
What did you learn about YOURSELF?
I learned about the beauty of believing in yourself.
Has your project received previous awards or accolades?
I’m officially a Miami Herald Silver Knight and the U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts Semi-Finalist.
What college will you be attending? Have you declared your major?
Florida A&M University School of Journalism with a double major in Graphic Communications and Fine Arts.
“Girl Scouts has made a creator”