Melissa Earl, a junior at Brigham Young University studying elementary education, has been defying gravity and expectations in the world of gymnastics for the past 18 years. From a 3-year-old doing somersaults across the floor to a seasoned collegiate athlete, Earl's journey through gymnastics reflects her unwavering dedication and passion for the sport. 


Earl reminisces, "My mom enrolled me in gymnastics to channel my boundless energy, but little did she know, she was igniting a lifelong love affair."

Now Earl finds herself not only excelling in the vault, her favorite event, but also embracing the challenges and lessons gymnastics offers.  

"I love the adrenaline rush of executing a double layout off the bars," she said.

Melissa Earl

Yet, Earl's connection to gymnastics extends beyond the mat. As she prepares to enter the world of education as a teacher, she finds striking parallels between the skills developed gymnastics and those required in teaching.  

"Gymnastics taught me focus, resilience, and the power of a positive attitude," she says. "These qualities are invaluable in guiding young minds."

Her passion for teaching is deeply rooted in childhood experiences and influential figures.  

"My fourth-grade teacher was a beacon of kindness and encouragement," Earl recalls fondly. "She inspired me to pursue teaching as a career, to create a nurturing environment where students feel valued and empowered."

Earl's aspirations as a teacher are to foster creativity, set high standards, and cultivate a sense of community in her classroom. "I want to be the teacher children remember—the one who believed in them, challenged them, and celebrated their successes," she asserts.

Earl and Practicum

Amidst the demands of a BYU education and the challenges of collegiate athletics, Earl began her first practicum experience last semester. Managing the scheduling constraints of practices, homework, and practicum, was a challenging but rewarding experience.

"It was a whirlwind semester," she admits. "But witnessing the students' enthusiasm and growth reaffirmed my calling as an educator."

As Earl soars to new heights, both in gymnastics and in her journey towards becoming an educator, her determination and commitment to excellence will continue to benefit her life and the lives of those around her.