Stories

Alumni Journeys: an aspiring lawyer in climate/disaster relief

September 17, 2021

Five questions for Kayla Barbour ’04

The Aspen Country Day School campus is like a magnet, drawing alumni back whenever they are passing through town on their busy lives after graduation. This fall, Kayla Barbour ‘04 stopped by during our teacher orientation meetings. Kayla graduated from Aspen Country Day School in a class of 19, when the school’s total enrollment was 160 students. She went on to the Groton School in Massachusetts for four years as a boarding student, then did her undergraduate degree at Western Washington University in Bellingham. 

What are you up to today?

I’m in my second year of law school at the University of Washington. My focus is environmental justice, social justice, and diasasters. Right now I’m doing an internship in disaster law, helping low-income residents who are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Trying to get FEMA funds for them when their houses have been damaged, getting clear title and funds to recover. But my goal, the reason I finally decided to go to law school, is because of all the wildfires in the West. There is no disaster funding for these fires, and in the climate crisis I want to be part of addressing that.

How did Aspen Country Day School prepare you for the wider world?

I am so lucky to have gone here. I was so prepared for high school and college. I think it’s amazing, too, that the first person I ever met when I was a baby, and then went to school with here in PreK, is now living in the same town as I am, Seattle. That’s Katie Fahy, who is doing her medical residency in family medicine. Now here we are in our early thirties and we still get together.

Favorite ACDS memory?

The Greek play was pretty amazing. The Eighth Grade play of 2004 was My Big Fat Greek Play: the musical. It was just so fun being at the Wheeler, having the lead roles in the play. We were the big dogs of the school, finally! I played Aphrodite. I loved just standing and singing on the stage, which is actually terrifying to think of now.

Which of the Country Day core values had the biggest influence on your growth?

Responsibility, because I feel I was kind of a little scattered at points, and I was taught to not be.

Blue team or Green team?

Blue!