Kaya Palmer's Biography
My education is diverse, having been home schooled, gone to private schools, public schools, community college and university. A lot of my growth as a young woman has been a result of learning to be flexible and relating to many different cultures of people in unique environments. My dad is from India with an Italian-East Indian heritage and muslim background. When I was eight years old I remember our family being in a trailer park watching a video through the ABECA Home Schooling program where I heard a lady tell the story of the prodigal son. After the story I was invited to become a child of the living God and I did! I remember being exposed to many aspects of my father’s culture until a conflict in faith when I was ten years old, where he forced me to choose between him as a father or God as Lord and Savior. My father disowned me and as a result our family went through a lot of moving, name changes and school transitions. I committed my life to God and found out He can be the Daddy I’ve always wanted and no matter what He would always love me. He’s my Daddy.
Passions & Pageants
Music has been one of my passions since I can remember. I’ve always loved to perform and connect with people. My mom likes to tell everyone I began singing songs from The Sound of Music before I could even speak! The first solo I had in a major production was in The Music Man at The Coaster Theatre. I was twelve years old and inhibited. When I was given a solo in the song The Wells Fargo Wagon, I wasn’t able to sing it in front of the cast. I would stand there with tears in my eyes as the music director pushed hard for me to sing it in front of everyone, but I didn’t believe I could. The woman who played the main character, Mariam, came to my side and said the she would sing it with me until I felt more comfortable. A couple rehearsals later I was shocked to hear myself singing alone. Everyone stopped and applauded instead of finishing the song. The lady that played Mariam gave me a hug and said, “Good job, I knew you could do it!” She mentored me. She believed in me. That woman gave me courage to express what I already had inside. From then on I loved the stage. I became involved in many theatrical productions such as West Side Story (Maria), Music Man (dancer), The Christmas Carol (which I did three different years playing the three characters Belle, Daphany, and a dancer), The Importance of Being Ernest (Cecily), Fame (Coco), The Quilters, and Once Upon a Mattress (understudy). I also became involved in many activities including acting, singing, worship bands, dancing (belly dance, ballet, jazz, and ballroom), sports here and there, different clubs, Rotary, and in High School Dale Carnegie classes for which I later became an assistant teacher.
The senior year of High School was when life started to really take off! I was always involved with a bunch of activities in school and no matter how crazy busy I was I wanted to excel and be the best in whatever I did including my education. Cheerleading my senior year and continuing to act and sing became my passions. It’s funny that I never dated a football player and never wanted to be a part of any one crowd but deep down wished I could date the handsome football star... little did I know I would marry a Pro!
Two months after I turned 17 I graduated and enrolled in Clatsop Community College. I looked into possible scholarship opportunities and attended an interview to discover the scholarship program is a part of the Miss America Scholarship Pageant. They said I needed a talent, and so duhhh I’m a singer! During my first year I tried out for the local pageant to be Miss Clatsop County and I won!!! When I won the title of Miss Clatsop County 2006 I was instantly involved in local events, fundraisers, parades and outreach events. I quickly realized I could influence others in a positive way and become a great leader! Being a crown holder I had opportunities like never before in both public speaking and singing. It was awesome! Then I began training in preparation for the Miss Oregon Pageant. Through this process I learned about the importance of having a coach to mentor me to become GREAT! Interestingly, the question that took me the most time to figure out and conquer was, “Kaya, tell me about yourself.” Growing up I was never encouraged to speak my mind or explore my identity as my father was very abusive and controlling and mom was working hard to take care of my brothers and I. I worked hard to overcome my fear and nervousness, and placed Top 10 for the state of Oregon!! Mom was proud! Right away I began dreaming about what it would be like to become Miss America. IMAGINE!
Since that time, mentoring others has become a huge passion of life. I have been a freshman mentor at Warner Pacific College and the Campus Worship Coordinator, a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister program, a camp mentor for VOCA (Victory Over Child Abuse), a middle school youth helper at North Coast Family Fellowship and a middle school girls counselor at Camp Tadmor.
Teaching music theory to orphans in Uganda changed my life. I learned a lot about the importance of being a mentor in Africa through the smiles and treasured memories I shared with the children. When I was an Assistant teacher for The Dale Carnegie Method for Public Speaking Mastery I was able to mentor adults about public speaking and communication skills. I love to see people face their fears, overcome them and succeed. My passion is to touch lives and inspire people to be all that they can imagine and more.
After graduating from Clatsop Community College in 2009, I attended Warner Pacific College. I became heavily involved in the worship program as I studied hard. I also continued to compete and I won a second title as Miss Washington Cou nty in 2009 and placed top ten again in the Miss Oregon Pageant. For my platform I chose “Freedom Through Mentoring” because children need role models in their life to support them through good and tough times and they need mentorship to be able to grow their dreams into reality. Like the lady who played Mariam in The Music Man gave me a chance to shine and have more confidence in what is now my focus in school, life and music; children need people who believe in them and will help them. Freedom comes when we feel like nothing is holding us back, and fear is no longer a part of our decision making! Mentors have an opportunity to bring freedom to children.
During my final school year I became the worship arts leader for Warner Pacific. I was in charge of helping others in organizing services, communicating with pastors and speakers, mixing in the styles of music with the many styles and levels of singers and musicians. God taught me to trust him and my mentors and helped me grow a thicker skin by not allowing others bring me down with negative words or their lack of love. I was also a worship leader intern for a church of a couple thousand in Portland, Oregon called New Hope where I learned how to manage my time by setting up and controlling the sound, lights, video photography and Powerpoint presentations.
Meeting my king
My pageant journey ended in 2010 after my year of service in the community as Miss Washington County was through. I also graduated the same day from Warner Pacific College with an Honours Music Bachelor of Arts degree. I decided not to compete again for the title of Miss America after Michael and I met. Our love grew as our vision for our future Spiritually, Financially, Socially, Emotionally and Physically became unified quickly and after much prayer and having communicated with Michael for 10 months we were married and I moved to Canada! I love to travel and I’ve been on mission trips to Uganda, Africa, Haiti and Mexico but I had never been to the Prairies. Well, love can take people places they would have never guessed they would go! For more on our journey and amazing wedding have a look at our website: www.mywedding.com/michaelandkaya/
Happily ever after continues...
Since a very young age I have been entreprenuerly-minded and I’ve always loved the idea of owning my own business, being involved in personal growth, developing excellence and leadership in all areas of life, mentoring other entrepreneurs and being involved in people’s lives in a positive way. I enjoy singing, writing and composing music and modeling. I also enjoy coaching young woman in all my passions as well, including being a pageant coach for Miss Teen Regina-World 2011, Miss Danielle Furneaux, who placed 4th in Canada out of 74 contestants! Congratulations Danielle!
To Book Michael and Kaya for your speaking engagement, please contact us.