By Sloane M. Perron, Manager of Marketing Communications  

Kayla Drew ‘25 is a nursing student who is dedicated to helping others whether it is through her skills as a caregiver or her passion for music. 

Kayla was inspired to become a nurse by her older sister who also works in healthcare. During the pandemic, Kayla was working in the kitchen of a nursing home when her supervisor asked her if she was interested in taking care of elderly residents. The job was incredibly challenging but rewarding. Because of COVID, visitors were not allowed into the nursing home, which meant that Kayla was often the one holding residents’ hands as they passed away. The work was emotionally draining, but Kayla realized the importance of her presence in these moments which further instilled her passion as nurse. “I felt a lot of peace being with them while their families couldn’t,” she said about the elderly residents she befriended.  

Kayla knew her life’s purpose was to be a nurse and help others, but finding the right school proved to be difficult. She did not want the impersonal large classes of bigger schools. Instead, she wanted a place where she felt comfortable and could focus on her studies and future career.  

Her sister’s friend, who is also a nurse, graduated from Anna Maria College and recommended the school to Kayla.  

“Anna Maria College felt like home. School does not come naturally to me, so I also wanted a smaller school where I could have more personalized attention. If you are looking for a home-like vibe, a family vibe, and a chill vibe, but you also want to focus on your degree, then Anna Maria College is the place for you,” she said. 

Music has always been a huge part of Kayla’s life. As a child she took singing lessons, took part in church choir, and performed at local events. Throughout the years Kayla’s passion for music has only intensified. Now a singer-songwriter, Kayla performs with the band Ridgeback and has two published albums on Spotify. Her 2022 album Blessed focuses on her faith while her latest album Weathering the Storm pays tribute to her brother who recently passed away.  

Writing songs and playing her guitar are not just hobbies for Kayla, they are ways that she channels her emotions and celebrates life. “Music is something that comes easy to me. I don’t have to think about it. I just do it,” she said.  

As a student, Kayla was looking for a way to become more involved on campus but did not have the athletic skills to join a sports team. However, Kayla found a way to use music to support her friends on Anna Maria’s Women’s Volleyball team.  

Kayla volunteered to sing the National Anthem at volleyball games. What started as a suggestion by a friend has turned into a fun experience for Kayla who looks forward to performing at the start of each game. Kayla is now a regular performer on campus and has been invited to perform for other teams like Field Hockey.  

“I love going to our sports games on campus, so I wanted to be involved somehow,” Kayla explained, “As a nursing student I am studying books all day, so it is fun and exciting to take part in something different.” 

The rigorous nursing program and clinicals are stressful, but Kayla is focused on her goal of becoming a pediatric nurse and raising a family of her own one day. In the meantime, Kayla is a proud AMCat who found her own way to support Anna Maria College’s athletic teams through her music.  

Be sure to check out Kayla singing on Caparso Field or at the Douglas Oktoberfest this Saturday where she will be the headline performer!