I have been extremely excited to get this Women Wednesday out into the world because I have the complete honor of calling this woman a part of my family.
I’m sure as a lot of you know, the first time you meet your partner’s family can be intimidating and scary as hell; especially the siblings. When I first met Kayla, my boyfriend Corey and I had just started seeing each other. I don’t even think we were officially dating. But the longer I spent around the two of them, I was fortunate enough to see the remarkable bond that they have created with each other. And while they both have incredibly strong personalities (shout out to their mom Lisa!) I have never met someone who was so full of certainty and determination. I have been lucky enough to be present for a small part of Kayla’s journey and let me tell you, this girl is a force to be reckoned with.
Kayla is originally from Staten Island, New York and is currently living in Northern Virginia. Growing up, Kayla’s mom was a teacher while her dad was a detective for the NYPD. My favorite story of Kayla is when her parents took her to her first concert when she was very young – She was somehow able to be completely konked while KISS was on stage. When Kayla was 7 years old, she lost her father to a post 9/11 related illness.
“I lost my father at a young age, which forced me to grow up quicker than normal. At the same time, it taught me the value of family and having a support system. My support system has only grown as I have gone through life, and that’s what keeps me going.”
Just over the past few years, I have seen Kayla bust her ass. Driving hours, across state lines, to be able to be there to support her family for every ceremony that honors and celebrates her father’s life and career. I am lucky enough to be able to see firsthand what an incredibly strong family she’s a part of and how perfectly she fits in it.
Her Education and Career
After graduating high school, Kayla moved upstate to attend Morrisville State College where she studied Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation.
“When I was young, I watched the Olympics and always told my mom I wanted to do that! My love for animals I believe I was born with, but my passion for horseback riding grew to extreme heights the second I got on a horse at the age of 5.”
Her passion from when she was younger never faltered and continues to inspire her career choices. It’s not often that you see someone brave enough to follow their passion and dedicate themselves to making it their career. It’s inspiring.
After graduating college, Kayla decided to pack her things and relocate to Virginia, where she could be more in the element of the field she was pursuing. Horses need land, people! And New York City doesn’t offer much in the green acre department. Kayla is currently focused on receiving her Veterinary Technician license.
“Though I would have loved to make my riding career professional, it was slightly out of my reach and control. So, my passion for healing the animal that gives me so much joy started.”
Kayla is the proud mother of her horse Romeo and continues to make time to ride, train, and spoil him.
“My biggest struggle currently is balancing my riding with my career, my riding is my first love and passion, which I will never let go. Even if I am exhausted from a long day at work, I will go help my trainer around the barn and see my horse.”
As I know from first-hand experience, moving states away from your home, friends, and family is not the easiest thing to do. It takes a lot of planning, support, and a strong desire to branch out. When Kayla made her move down South, it was an obvious decision she decided on a long time ago.
“I knew I needed to spread my wings and fly and thankfully my support system back home wouldn’t want it any other way. And I learned that people who are meant to be in your life will make the effort to stay in your life no matter what the situation is.”
Her advice to someone who is debating a big move?
“Just do it, because if you don’t it will always sit in the back of your head like ‘what if?’”
Kayla is currently CRUSHING IT. Not just by working towards her Veterinary Tech goal, but she also just recently attended an equestrian clinic with George Morris. Morris is a big-time equestrian influencer and he coached the Olympic team, as well as being on it himself.
“For me, I have struggled with self-confidence all my life, so to say I have a proud moment is something I am proud of in general. BUT he ended up saying my horse and I were “accurate and brilliant” and THAT will sit with me for a very long time.”
Kayla also gets to thrive in a female dominated career field. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, as of 2010, the veterinary profession is about 50 percent men and 50 percent women, while enrollment in veterinary medical colleges is about 80 percent women.
Kayla thinks women actually have the advantage in her field, due to the fact that women are (more often than not) more sympathetic and caring towards those particular situations.
I have rocked out a number of times with Kayla at a variety of concerts, and just recently I learned that Kayla has a hidden talent. This girl can sing. Check out Kayla’s cover of Dancing on My Own here!
Her family’s love and appreciation of music did not stop with her, and I constantly look forward to the next album she tells me I have to listen to.
Her favorite right now?
Her favorite thing about the South?
“That I can buy wine in any supermarket!! Sometimes I just really need a glass of wine to wind down!”
The first time I went grocery shopping in NYC, I spent 15 minutes looking for the wine aisle. To my disappointment, it’s definitely not a New York thing. I desperately miss the convenience.
I am incredibly grateful that I’m able to watch Kayla’s story unfold. She is so upfront and honest with her life and her story, you immediately feel comfortable talking to her and sharing your story as well. It’s not often you find someone you feel like you can immediately trust, but she is one of them.
Until next time, stay safe out there and change the world.