Kayla, a second year student at the University of Dayton (UD), embodies our Catholic Marianist mission. She is a student civic leader committed to understanding her own education by empowering neighborhood leaders and enhancing the quality of life for residents in the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood. Kayla understands that a strong community must have engaged leaders and a strong educational system. Kayla realizes that education is a critical component of a vital neighborhood. She works with Edison Elementary School, located in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood as a coach for Girls on the Run and Soccer for Success, two programs focusing on the mental and physical well-being of young girls. Kayla is a part of the Dayton Civic Scholars (DCS) program in the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community. Students meet local leaders and engage in internships with local community organizations and government offices. Kayla has shown incredible passion, innovation, and energy for the Dayton community. I am confident Kayla will be a tremendous asset to the Newman Civic Fellows program.
Your first year at college is always an exciting experience, but once that settles down, it begins the time to find your passion, and I found mine in a community about a mile away from college. Community change is about recognizing the assets of the community, and maximizing their value to create positive, social change. I spend time in the Wright-Dunbar district; home to artists, athletes, small businesses, and leaders alike; aiming to better their community yet unaware of how to do so. One of the most rewarding positions for me is coaching young students in the neighborhood. All of the students have so much untapped potential that requires just a little motivation to reach into, and bring out of them. Furthermore, by planning neighborhood beautification events through my internship, we are able to show first-hand the reward that comes from taking initiative and working as a community. This historic neighborhood is home to incredible residents with strong potential, and through my remaining years in college, I hope to further collaborate with and encourage the residents to be positive agents of change in our community.