I would just do the guide school that the company offers. Money saved from the independent school could be put towards some of the gear you may need. If you don't already have it from the kayak gig. Or put it into helping pay for the other certs.
The sooner you can get your swift water rescue cert, the better IMO, and it's less expensive than taking the WFR.
Also bump up your medical training as soon as you can too. To me SWR and WFR are equally important. It's tough to pay for, I know, but you gotta have em. Once you've proven your loyalty and worth to a company, they might help out with those certs in some way....mayyyybe.
Attitude is everything. Master the shit work, learn it and love it!
At the end of the day, always ask the TL for more work to do...with a smile on your face. Chances are, the TL does have some other shit to do before they can go home, and might like to have a hand=you learning more=TL getting to know you better=strengthening you odds of getting a job.
If you're willing to travel, you can pretty easily work almost year round. I'd recommend a couple yrs experience before you start doing this, but it is certainly attainable. One of my best "seasons" was a good, long, wet one here in the states, then spent the winter months working in Costa Rica, when not at work, I was at the beach. If you look around, you'll find there are places to work early spring/spring, then go somewhere for the reg season, then go somewhere for fall, then Central/S. America for the winter.