As Group Health Foundation’s newest program associate, Kayla Davis is helping the grants team develop, streamline, and implement processes and procedures. This kind of work, “it makes my world go round,” Kayla says.
Kayla sharpened these skills right out of college when she worked as volunteer coordinator for the Northwest Leadership Foundation. She has also had much practice over the years, including as the youth program director for the Center for Community Impact at YMCA Pierce and Kitsap Counties and, most recently, as a program associate at the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
“The important thing to remember is keeping track of information, from beginning to end,” Kayla shares. “You want to put good processes in place so that the next person after you can take it to the next level, not start from scratch.”
This attention to detail, enthusiasm for problem solving, and sense of responsibility to the person after her very much define who Kayla is as a person. Born and raised in Tacoma, by parents and grandparents who also have long histories in Pierce County, Kayla and her family are deeply connected to their community.
“The community helped raised me,” Kayla says. “We are nothing without our community.”
In gratitude to those who surround her, Kayla says she spends her non-work hours “on little projects to find connections for people.” Lately, it’s been helping community members get at-home internet access as Tacoma Public Schools students are learning remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Sometimes people don’t get the information they need to know what’s available to them,” Kayla says. “Maybe they don’t speak English or maybe they don’t know where to go if they run into issues. When I make connections, I look at who may know more about this, and then bring everyone together to help each other. This is how we flourish.”
When envisioning what a more equitable future means for her community, Kayla says definitely one where people have access to the services they need without the same barriers that are always in the way. Group Health Foundation also understands this, she says, and why she is excited to be part of the team.
A graduate of Central Washington University, Kayla will be one of our first colleagues based out of the Tacoma office when it opens later next year. She lives in Tacoma with her mother and grandmother, and spends a lot of time with her extended family. Kayla founded a mentoring program for girls ages 11 to 17 called Purple Roses through her participation with the Koinonia Community Development Council. She enjoys traveling around Washington State.