One local student is already well on her way to post-secondary success and beyond.
Kaylynn Brewer — a senior cheerleader at Washington School — was recently awarded the Notorious RBG Women of Tomorrow Scholarship by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).
According to the NSHSS website, the scholarship was established to recognize female scholars who have demonstrated leadership skills and their efforts to embody the spirit of Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) within their own communities.
Brewer was one of 10 students who were selected from a group of more than 100 applicants to receive the $1,000 scholarship.
Part of the application required Brewer to respond to the following prompt, “Ruth Bader Ginsberg stated, “As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it... As we connect and collaborate, give and take, we are evolving, emerging stronger and more capable.” How are you embodying the spirit of RBG to be notorious for your power in your community?”
Brewer talked about one of the main ways in which she has embodied that spirit in her community.
She volunteered for the New York School of Urban Ministry the summer before her sophomore year.
During her time in Manhattan, she learned a lot about people and gained experience with customer service.
Subsequent to her trip, she was encouraged to apply for the Greenville’s Mayor’s Youth Council.
Brewer was honored to have been extended such an opportunity as she viewed it as a way to aid in the growth of her community.
“I really wasn’t able to do much volunteering during COVID, so a lot of stuff happened my sophomore year,” she recalled. “I was really involved in volunteering and I had the opportunity to do several things with the Mississippi Department of Health — that was through the Greenville Mayor’s Youth Council where I talked with healthcare officials about COVID-19 and what they could do with kids because a lot of them saw a spike in depression.”
Along with seeing kids cope with depression during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brewer noticed the academic struggles among students.
“That’s something that I wrote about and am really passionate about — wanting to help kids and that’s why I really got involved with the Mayor’s Youth Council,” she said.
Brewer also shared that her reaction to the news of her being awarded the scholarship was “the funniest thing.”
“I was going to bed at around 10:30 at night and I was like “You know what, let me look at my emails.” So I’m scrolling through and I see this “Congratulations” and I jump up because I didn’t know back then where I wanted to go to college,” she said, remembering how her parents consistently pushed her to apply for scholarships.
Brewer continued, “So, I see the email and I jump up and just run to my parents room and I’m like, “Mom and dad I’ve got the scholarship, I’ve got it!” I was so happy.”
While she is heavily invested in serving her community and helping others, Brewer is just as invested in cheerleading as evidenced by the excitement in her voice when she talked about it.
She made it clear, however, that academics are at the forefront of those investments.
“I love cheerleading. I started off with gymnastics and I think I started that when I was five years old and I’ve been flipping ever since,” said Brewer. “I just changed from gymnastics to cheerleading.”
Her prospective field of study once she begins her undergraduate studies is real estate.
One reason for that is her fondness for engaging with others.
“I just honestly like talking to people, getting to know people and helping people,” she highlighted.
Being the capable and driven young lady Brewer seems to be is attributable to a village of similar ladies.
Brewer regarded the women in her family as being collectively responsible for the success she has achieved thus far — rather apropos for the award she received.
“If there’s anything I can take away from my family, it’s that I have really strong women and that has helped a lot with me growing up and being able to do so many things…they’ve really influenced me and encouraged me in everything that I’ve done throughout my life.”
NSHSS is the premier international honors and scholarship program co-founded by Claes Nobel and James Lewis.
It offers a lifetime of benefits, pairing the highest performing students worldwide with high school and college scholarships, events, connections, internships, and career opportunities that begin in high school and carry on through college and careers. For more information, visit https://nshss.org