Kayla Lark

Kayla Lark

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA 

Major: Biology/ Cytotechnology

Graduating Year: 2024 (BS), 2025 (MS)

Why did you choose Daemen?

I first heard of Daemen after being contacted by the college’s lovely admissions counselor. The counselor, Michelle, really drew me into all of the opportunities the college presented and was my first glimpse into what kind of school Daemen truly was- a place that would care about me beyond just a number for their statistics. All of my questions were answered, I was connected with students in similar programs to me, and I felt genuinely like this was a place that I could see myself moving 6 hours away to build a future in. Now that comfortability was established, the only other thing I had to worry about was money. I loved everyone I talked to at Daemen, even those in financial aid. The rumor is that if the people in financial aid are nice and caring, then the rest of the school follows and Daemen was exactly like that. Everyone was understanding, and eventually I was awarded the Trustee scholarship to attend, leading to my decision being made and I can proudly say that I have no intentions of looking back.

In what ways are you involved on campus?

Diversity Ambassador, Tour Guide, Orientation Leader, SEEN graduate, Daemen College Rescue Squad, Trustee Scholar, Black Student Union, founding member of the Minority Mentorship Program, Summer Event Assistant, HEOP Peer Counselor, Academic Coach, and Chess Club

What advice would you give to a prospective student?

My advice would be to understand your worth. You as an individual have worked hard in some area or some fashion. There will be a lot of people who try to make you feel like you aren't amazing or worth all that you are. Many of the people that attend Daemen fall short, not because their dumb or can't do something, but because they give up on themselves. Giving up on yourself can be something so small as "I can't pass that class", "I'm not smart enough for that major", "I won't be good at that thing, maybe I shouldn't even try". When you grow up, no one tells you that you have to have your own back, because there are a lot of people out there that don't. And there will always be nay-sayers or haters be it your boss, your coworkers, your mom, your dad, and sometimes even your friends. I'm here to tell you, you are worth it, and you can do WHATEVER you put your mind to. You are amazing, and as soon as you start believing that, the rest of the world will too.

What excites you most about being a tour guide?

I enjoy meeting prospective students and answering any questions you all may have. I am a resource here to help in any way that I can. I have a passion for making sure that students feel comfortable and confident in their decisions of attending any institution. I understand the feeling of being lost, and not knowing where to go. I have my tour guides, and my resources at Daemen that have made me feel happy to call this place my own and all I want is to give that same experience back to every student that I can. If you have a random question about the college process, regardless of what it might be, I’m always only one text or email away. Feel free to reach out, I’d love to get to meet you.  

What is your most memorable moment at Daemen?

My most memorable moment at Daemen was my first day as an Orientation Leader. Due to Covid-19 as a freshman, our Orientation was anything but ordinary. I recount this Orientation as being my first. Being there for my residents and mentoring students through this process was the best time of my life. I am a very energetic person if you ever get the chance to meet me, so Orientation is where I thrive. I’m loud, I can run around, play games, hype people up and make people comfortable on campus. I was the cheery person you could go to, and if you ever needed help, I would find the people who have answers. Feeling like people could come to me for a good time and also to feel comfortable was quite a fulfilling experience.

How has Daemen changed or shaped your life?

Daemen has shown me a valuable lesson in learning to say no. I always try to help, go out of my way, or give more than what I have to other people. I still slip up sometimes, but Daemen has taught me that not everybody deserves all of me. That there will be opportunities, but sometimes you have to say no, because when you're winning at life, more will always show up. I've learned amazing time management skills, because Daemen has forced me to challenge myself.  

Who inspires you the most?

The person that inspires me the most and has been a role model to me at Daemen has actually been one of my former tour guides, Jameekia Blount. I remember my first day on campus, having my first tour and saying to myself "I wish I could walk these halls that confident and determined". Funny thing is, now I do. As an African American, going into the college atmosphere is hard enough, especially when you are far away from everyone you know. Jameekia was the first person that looked like me and was making her mark on Daemen since the day I met her. She was an inspiration, along with a couple other tour guides, who made me want to be a tour guide. My first day on the job, I modeled all my tours after her. Jameekia showed me that being a strong, independent woman was possible and that no one was going to burn out my shine.