Kayettes help students learn through service
While some students may struggle to
balance the time between class work and extracurricular activities, the girls
of the Kayettes manage their time in a way that promotes self-learning within a
Founded in 1967, the Kayettes, a traditionally all-women group, are leaders in community service. Affiliated with the local Kiwanis chapter, the Kayettes work most weekends throughout the year on a variety of service projects, including the Polar Plunge, Relay for Life, and a Thanksgiving dinner for senior citizens.
Cathy Brown, a Coconino County worker and
staff member at the Joe Montoya Adult Center, says the holiday dinner the
Kayettes put on is always one of the center’s highlights for the year.
“It’s wonderful,” Brown says. “They bake all these turkeys, sing, dance,
and never lose their smiles. They are
just wonderful. The seniors just love
it. They’re a wonderful group of girls,
and I can’t say enough about them.”
Brianna Kowalski, a
junior secondary education major with an emphasis in English and a minor in
French and the current president of the Kayettes, says the goal of the group is
to bring people together while giving back.
“We are a group that brings community service to
Flagstaff and NAU,” Kowalski says. “We
try to bring everyone together with our one goal of community service.”
Though the Kayettes are associated with
many other groups, including the Special Olympics and the American Cancer
Society, they still maintain their own distinct identity around campus due to
their involvement with various events, including the Mr. Lumberjack Pageant
each Homecoming Weekend.
The Kayettes begin their recruitment
process during the spring semester in order to give prospective members a
chance to see their work around campus during the fall. This also gives new recruits significant time
to create their own service projects and implement it by December, which is the
group’s Founder’s Day. After completing
this project, members of the Kayettes are rewarded with the group’s trademark
navy blue suits, which they wear the first Thursday of each month and during
important group events.
Glenda Chavez, a freshman majoring in
business management, says she joined the Kayettes because of the opportunity to
help fellow community members.
“I compared it to other groups on campus,
and I saw it was more philanthropy-based than socially-based,” Chavez
says. “I liked that Kayettes is about
Though the organization does pride itself
on its service, the Kayettes still focus on providing members with a full
college experience. Potential recruits
are required to be in their second semester of studies and maintain a 2.75 GPA
or higher in order to get a feel for campus life and time management.
Weekly meetings are held each Thursday in
the DuBois Center at 5:30 p.m., which allows members to plan activities whether
they are fundraisers or group events geared towards building relationships.
Mallory Moore, a junior majoring in
biomedical sciences, says the Kayette’s commitment comes from its members and
their devotion to their university.
“The Kayettes show a lot of dedication,”
Moore says. “Everyone attends all
meetings, everyone shows up to the service events they’re supposed to do, and
we have a lot of school spirit. We love
NAU and we love what we do.”