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Cayla Mackey

Class of: 2012
Hometown: Bradenton, FL
School: Arts and Science
Major(s): International Relations, Foreign Languages

When Cayla finds an idea that she likes, she throws her whole weight behind it. Over the course of recent years, her involvement has spanned from grassroots community organizing to large-scale fundraising. At Vanderbilt, Cayla has volunteered with Alternative Spring Break and The Manna Project in Argentina, Honduras, and Los Angeles' Skid Row. She started the Global Poverty Initiative, a student group aimed at raising awareness and promoting sustainable solutions to poverty. Speakers hosted through the Global Poverty Initiative include Blake Mycoskie (founder of TOMS Shoes), Jessica Jackley (founder of KIVA and Profounder), Stephen Lewis (United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa), and Dambisa Moyo (author of Dead AID: Why AID Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa). Through the Global Poverty Initiative, Cayla spearheaded the 'Dores for Pakistan campaign to raise funds for Pakistani flood victims, an effort which received national attention from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Pursuing a passion for languages, Cayla partnered with recent Guatemalan immigrants in a language exchange program. Given all of these activities, music is Cayla's most enduring form of civic engagement, starting with her leading her high school's Music Outreach Club.

Cayla's passion for music propels her to engage with communities through music. She has been heavily involved over the past four years with the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville, a non-profit that provides low income children with free music instruction, where has taught private lessons to over twenty students. During her Ingram Summer Project, she partnered with W.O. Smith to initiate a creative music curriculum for students. Through her Ingram Senior Internship, she continues to learn more about W.O. Smith through working closely with the board of directors. Cayla sees civic engagement through music as a melding of her personal strengths, skills, and knowledge as a classically trained musician with her passion for music and drive to engage with communities.

As a professional musician, Cayla plans on continuing to enrich lives through music. She is continuing her studies in "Music, Language, and Culture" which includes classes in music performance, musicology, foreign languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Arabic), and music business. She is devoted to developing her artistic craft through collaborations with local Nashville musicians, and plans to dedicate her life to the pursuit of musical excellence.

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Key Dates

  • December 1, 2017
  • Ingram Scholarship Program (High School Seniors) applications and letters of recommendation due.

  • TBD 2018
  • Ingram Scholarship Program (Current Vanderbilt First-Year & Sophomore Students) applications and letters of recommendation due.