Kayla Lark

Kayla Lark

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Major: Biology and Cytotechnology

Graduation Year: 2024 (BS) 2025 (MS)

Why did you choose Daemen University?

I first heard of Daemen after being contacted by the college’s lovely admissions counselor. The counselor, 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.

Why did you choose your present major?

I originally came into Daemen as a Biochemistry major in the Pre-Med program, and after my first year at Daemen (first Covid year as well) I was faced with a real challenge, a fear of losing my scholarship and concern of not wanting to attend medical school for an additional 4 years. With me being from Philadelphia, I did not learn about Daemen or Daemen programming until it was too late to join the PA program, and started to consider other majors. I was fortunate enough to have a lovely program director, Diane Ramos, who was able to expose me to the major I currently find myself in that still allows me to attend medical school if I so choose, but also will allow me to obtain my Masters and keep my scholarship. I am still a Biology major, but now I have a backup plan if I do not want to go to medical school. Also, I was able to take a class surrounding cells and cancer related phenomenons, which Cytotechnology in layman's terms is cancer research, that showed me that this is the field for me. There have been a plethora of resources as well as shadowing opportunities provided to me in this field and has been the best option for me.

Please briefly describe your Scholar's Day.

My Scholar's Day was actually online and I was very worried because my internet connection was not the best. I was able to speak my truth and show the well-rounded individual that I was. My interview consisted of about 3 women and was like most interviews, asking of strengths and weaknesses, where I see myself in the next 5 years, involvement I have had in the community, and similar interview style questions.

Please describe your academic experience at Daemen.

My academic experience at Daemen has been very split between Covid challenges and adjusting to Covid. I came from a challenging high school that I thrived in, but struggled my last year since Covid really destroyed my academic experience. I was hit with a shocking reality when coming to Daemen with Covid at a high point and all of my courses being online. I struggled that first year and learned that I was not an online learner, then this most recent year, all of my classes have been in person and I did much better and was able to thrive once again.

What do you like best about Daemen?

I love the welcoming, family-like aura that Daemen provides. Daemen is a smaller institution with closer connections.

What clubs or organizations have you been a part of here at Daemen College? What kinds of things do they do?

I am the Pre-Med President which aims at having a cohort for our Pre-Med students for both support as well as a resource of information. I am apart of our Daemen College Rescue Squad which are our certified EMT's on campus, I am apart of our Black Student Union, our Chess Club, I am an Orientation Leader which is a guide and mentor to our incoming Freshman students, and a former tour guide which helps students become acclimated to our campus.

Do you have a job or jobs on campus? Please provide a brief description.

I do not qualify to Federal Work Study because of my scholarship, so I have had a couple of Leadership positions on campus, but will now be focusing more on my academics for the time being. I have been a tour guide, Orientation Leader, and ERT Ambassador on campus which have all provided me with amazing experiences at Daemen.

What is your favorite spot to stop by in town?

My favorite spot to stop by in town is the Galleria Mall, our shuttle takes our students there and it's always a nice place to go after a long study session.

What piece of advice would you give to prospective students?

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 they're 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 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.