After graduating from Howland High School, Kayla Boye didn’t realize the next few years of her life would go by in a whirlwind of dancing, theater and academics.
Her final weeks up until her graduation at Youngstown State University have been chaotic to say the least.
“Everyone keeps asking if I’m excited to graduate. Right now, I’m more anxious than excited,” Boye said.
Boye will be graduating as a professional writing and editing major with her certification in non-profit leadership.
Throughout her college career, she has worked for the YSU Writing Center and the YSU Foundation. She’s also participated in YSUtheater, the YSU Dance Ensemble, Student Government Association and the Student Non-Profit Leadership Organization.
She said her passion throughout her life has been performing and dance. Her post-college plans could land her in Chicago, where she has family and endless opportunities.
“It’d be a logical first step, I think. If I were to get those development positions, I could always audition at night and make my choice if I want to go for the performing or the non-profit side,” Boye said.
She’s applied for internships and extended apprenticeships in Chicago. She ultimately wants to end up in New York City, but said Chicago is a great stepping-stone.
“The ideal position would be to work for a non-profit theater. But I will always have that passion for performing,” Boyesaid.
She’s not the only one going through the motions of being nervous about the future.
Julia Gergits, chair of the English department and Boye’s adviser, said she is nervous and excited for all of her students.
“We go with our students through all those feelings this time of the year,” Gergits said.
She said she is proud of Boye.
“She is just wonderful,” Gergits said. “She’s one of those students who is very self-motivated and well-organized. She does her theater and has even helped incoming students.”
Boye has been rehearsing for the YSU Dance Ensemble. She is dancing and she choreographed a piece.
She’s doing a mixture of jazz songs with intricate footwork in a tribute to Bob Fosse.
“My dancers have been working very hard. It’s a challenge because Fosse is so intricate and so tiny that you can’t just brush by it. You have to have that style down, and I think they’ve been able to master it,” Boye said.
She’s also dancing in senior Malloree Miller’s “Hairspray” piece.
“Working with Kayla has inspired me to be a better performer, dancer and all around person,” Miller said. “She brings so much energy and light to everyone’s day, and I am going to miss her so much.”
“I’ve had a great time working with everyone. It’s going to be sad to leave after this, but it’s been a nice way to say goodbye,” Boye said.
Gergits said she is confident in Boye and the rest of her students.
“We’re always really thrilled when you guys do well,” Gergits said.