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VISA Profile - Kayla Montanez

Kyla Montanez

Kayla Montanez

Program Advisor, Colorado State University
VISTA Alum | Sacramento State

I am a biracial woman who grew up in a low-socioeconomic home, and was a first generation high school graduate. These salient identities left me surrounded by narratives of ‘not being enough’. As a CSU STEM VISTA, I was not just serving the Sacramento State Commit to Study Program, but students with similar backgrounds and identities to my own. They too experienced oppressive narratives.

​CSU STEM VISTA gave me more than I could have ever imagined. I completed my service year feeling confident, ready, a​nd prepared for the next stage in my life. Today, I take what I learned as a VISTA member into the classroom when conversations about underserved students are left out. Because of CSU STEM VISTA, I will continue this work for the rest of my career.

I felt empowered knowing that change was happening on Sacramento States campus.​


During her time at Sacramento State, Kayla created infrastructure for the Commit to Student program, an initiative to get students to develop good study habits. She developed and facilitated workshops for 120 students on growth and fixed mindset, time management and procrastination. Kayla, along with the other VISTA at Sac State, received two grants to help fund and incentivize the workshops for other students to attend. She hired two Commit to Study Ambassadors and trained them on how to facilitate the workshops she had developed.