Kayla E. Davis is an anthropologist by trade but is also a former educator. She grew up on a farm in rural Southwest Virginia and lived 10 years in the Tri-Cities, TN area before relocating to Knoxville for graduate school at the University of Tennessee. She has experience in the developing world both as an educator and a researcher. She has been traveling internationally in a humanitarian capacity since age 11.
In 2014, she lived in Kampala, Uganda, teaching ESL every week in a free school that catered to vulnerable populations in the city. It was during this trip, that she realized her passion lies not only in discovering new cultures but also in alleviating human suffering. This led her to pursue a degree in Anthropology after many years of teaching middle school, high school, and pre-k. She comes to Bridge Refugee Services with seven years of experience within the non-profit sector – including work with animal rescues, after-school programs, and doing social work on a volunteer basis for the court.
In 2018, she returned to Kampala in a research capacity, working with the same population as she did in 2014. Her research focused on urban poverty, specifically perceptions of urban poverty. She examined government records, interviewed the local population, and accessed NGO data to reveal how people in poverty were viewed by those around them. With a graduate certification in Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights, she is excited and ready to work with the local refugee population in Knoxville.
In her free time, she fosters for five local animal rescues, hangs out with her border collie Neville, and enjoys both watercolor and oil painting.