Kayla is a first-generation Chicana, born and raised in Chicago's northwest side neighborhood of Hermosa. In 2019, she earned her B.S. in News-Editorial Journalism, specialized in History and Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her undergraduate career, Kayla interned at DNAinfo Chicago and NBC/Telemundo Chicago, writing hyperlocal news stories and working in the powerhouse of the newsroom: the assignment desk.
While at the U of I, Kayla worked at La Casa Cultural Latina, assisting with programming aimed at the academic, professional, and social development of Latinx students on campus. Additionally, she actively organized in Latinx student advocacy efforts with MEChA de UIUC. As a part of the LALS M.A. program, Kayla hopes to examine the implications of gender violence on migrant women. In pursuing this research, Kayla aims to implement the immersive method of journalism with formal academic research methods in order to make information accessible and comprehensible through storytelling.