Ms. Kayla D Begay

Educator and Community Activist
Navajo, New Mexico
United States

Focus Areas

Economic Security
Community Development
Arts & Humanities
K-12 Education
Racial Equity & Healing
Diversity / Inclusion / Equity


Kayla D. Begay is an emerging leader and Diné woman from the community of Navajo, NM. She is Tódích’íi’nii born for Táchii’nii. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Education from Occidental College and is a current M.A. in Elementary Education candidate at UNM. As a product of Navajo, NM, Kayla returned to fulfill the desire of Diné Nation’s wish that Navajo students go and get an education and return to make their communities better. Kayla has taught at Navajo Elementary, a school she went to. Her experiences enabled her to be a role model for her students, staff and community members in her actions and mindsets of hope, strength, perseverance, and belief that anything is possible. In the classroom, Kayla is able to build and maintain strong relationships with her students and their families and convey her love and belief in their ability to succeed despite so many obstacles against them. Her work with the community of Navajo and partnership with NACA to create a charter school based in the community vision speaks volumes to her understanding and deep belief that all students deserve an education that allows them to be firm in their identities and reclaim their rights as Native people on a sovereign land. Kayla is currently a NACA Inspired Schools Network Fellow, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow, Teach for America Alumni, and serves on the Red Lake-Navajo Community Action Group council.