TSN host and reporter Kayla Grey opens up about her early life, how she was able to find success, and why education needs to be more accessible and speak to Canada’s underrepresented youth.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and some of the barriers you’ve overcome to get to where you are today?
I was living in a friend’s basement in high school and battling with what I now know as severe depression. I felt paralyzed and it hindered me from being present at school. Due to the amount of time that I missed, I went to two different schools before entering alternative learning programs and graduating with passable grades from the City Adult Learning Centre. That experience completely changed my life. It empowered me with choice and freedom to set goals that many looking at my educational background and struggles would’ve easily said were too unrealistic.
Why do you believe that it’s so important to increase access to education for underrepresented communities?
Not only is it important to increase access to education, but it’s also equally important to make sure those resources speak to underrepresented communities, too. We need an education that tells the truth: our truths and our history. That’s how you show people that they matter. That’s how you empower people. Empowered people then feel motivated to chase whatever dream it is that they have because they see that they can. Even in areas where things haven’t been done or seen yet — the knowledge that people who look like them have done what was once thought impossible can make all the difference.
What can institutions, educators, and students do to ensure equal opportunity to educational resources for all of Canada’s youth?
They can advocate for marginalized voices in their lessons and planning. It’s so important. There are certain regions and schools that continually seem to get preferential treatment when it comes to funding. There’s a glaring discrepancy in that regard when it comes to schools in marginalized communities.