Kaila Beaudry on Jan. 30, has gone from figure skater to teacher over-seas to Prince Rupert business owner in her 26 years. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Kaila Beaudry on Jan. 30, has gone from figure skater to teacher over-seas to Prince Rupert business owner in her 26 years. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Heart of our City – Kayla Beaudry

From teaching, to serving, to scrunchies

From student to teacher to student again, Kaila Beaudry has seen the contrasting sides of socio-economic diversity from her life growing up in Prince Rupert to teaching students sitting on a dirt floor classroom across the world.

At 26, Kaila isn’t sure of her life’s path just yet as she is still learning to navigate through the different directions that decisions have sent her in, but she is on her way with the compass needle pointing forward.

Currently educating herself through online classes in women’s and gender studies through Vancouver Island University the candidate for women’s representative in the student union said she has seen a lot of inequality. Whether the inequity is from her own experiences, the news, people in her classes, or life around her, she said she thinks it is due to lack of education.

“I see a lot of discrimination in areas where there shouldn’t be any discrimination. I just think it’s because people aren’t educated,” Kaila said, citing the example of indigenous women attending hospitals and being asked questions that are not relevant to their reason for attending.

Currently studying indigenous feminism and also a gender class, Kaila said she thinks education is the key to ending discrimination.

“I just think a lot of us a lot of people don’t know about the history in Canada with indigenous people or people of colour,” she said.

“It’s really important for me to diversify and learn from marginalized voices and from voices which need to be heard. (I need) to just be an ally for them.”

“It’s important for me as a non-indigenous person to question what am I doing with my privilege,” she said.

Kaila explained that she doesn’t mean she has a lot of things or that non-indigenous people don’t have a hard time, but just that her race doesn’t give her additional issues or obstacles to overcome. Major issues in 2020 like Wet’suwete’en and Black Lives matter have strongly influenced her to be more pro-active, she said. Her goal in the long is to assist others.

“It made me want to go to school so I could educate myself. With this, I can be an advocate and work in a field where I can help people.”

Kaila spent time as a volunteer English teacher in India and saw first hand the socio-economic diversity contrasting with her middle-class upbringing in Canada.

She taught a class of elementary school children on the outskirts of New Dehli. The children ages six to eleven were undocumented without birth certificates, therefore, could not be registered or attend public school. She taught the 30 students in a brick school classroom with no running water.

“There were chalkboards, but they didn’t have any desks, and they sat on the dirt floor,” she said. “There were not any books in the school so I bought some for the classroom.”

The students would have notebooks and pencils to learn Kaila explained, however, the supply of these items is so scarce that the student would erase everything they had written once the book was full so they could re-use the pages.

She was there for six weeks, being billeted by an Indian family, and the teachers came in on a rotational basis. It was a challenge she said as there was a lot of pollution and garbage. People would burn garbage including all plastics which affected the air quality.

“I learned to be very grateful for what I have,” she said.

“I remember coming back to Canada, especially Prince Rupert, and just breathing,” she said. “I was just conscious of how clean our air is and how bad pollution is. We really need to be really conscious of what we are creating a demand for.”

When she arrived back in Canada, she said experienced ‘reverse culture shock’ because while away she had become immersed in the culture. For example, she said she felt more conservative upon arriving home and felt the need to keep her shoulders covered despite the more open societal norms.

Kaila was raised on the North Coast by her parents who are business owners in the hospitality industry. Her mom manages a restaurant and her dad is a chef. Kaila started working at the age of 14 as a busser in the restaurant, but only after promising her mom that she would not stay in the industry and would broaden her horizons. She took figure skating lessons for years and was interested in drama at high school even participating in a few productions.

Travel on various overseas trips has developed an appreciation of other avenues and ways of life. But Kaila feels at home in Prince Rupert and 12 years after starting in the family business has worked her way up in hospitality to now being a restaurant supervisor.

Keeping to her family instilled values of hard work and effort, during COVID-19 while the restaurant was quieter she relied on the entrepreneurial skills she learned from her parents and has started a home-based business of making and selling hair scrunchies out of sustainable and recycled fabrics.

“You want to choose second-hand first. Most of the time secondhand fabrics haven’t even been used. They are just excess fabric. I order from a recycling fabric company in Vancouver,” she said.

Starting her business at the beginning of the pandemic, which she admits to thinking would not last this long, she started to take sewing lessons, prior to the shutdown, which had to be placed on hold. Originally thinking she could sell her scrunchies at a craft fair, she continued to produce them assembly-line style during the time off work.

“I wanted to make something different. During COVID I kept continuing and then I had all these scrunchies – but no craft fair. So, then I started selling them online through my website and Instagram account.”

Kaila said many people believe in the healing properties of natural crystals for example rose quartz or smokey quartz, so this is a unique element that she adds to inside the hair adornments.

She said while the restaurant has had to shorten hours during the pandemic, the extra income from her business has helped her to get by and she has learned the importance of financial savings because you don’t know when an emergency is going to come.

“Because I have high seniority I never really thought being laid off would ever be an option,” she said. The downtime has taught her the cruciality of needing time at home for self-care away from a busy career serving others.

While she has been working with some of the restaurant staff for more than 12 years, she still relies on the senior staff’s support and wisdom to help her grow and learn. She said every time she speaks to one particular staff member, she always learns something from the pearls of wisdom shared to her that she can appreciate and use in practical terms of everyday life.

“I love the people who I work with. I love my customers. I get to be there for their special occasions — birthdays, engagements, anniversaries. But sometimes I need to not work so much and just find that work-life balance a little bit more. So that was something I learned from COVID,” she said.

K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Heart of our City

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

I want to fly higher. Eva Moore and her brother Leroy Moore are treated to some high pushes from Simon Temple while swinging at Moose Tot Park on April 15. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Photo Gallery: Prince Rupert tots enjoy fun in the sun

Warmer weather is attracting kids of all ages to play outside

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

The Cancer Care Unit at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, April 14, will benefit from a $100,000 donation from Prince Rupert Port Authority towards renovations. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Port Authority donates $100,000 to hospital renovations

Cancer Care Unit at PRRH to undergo upgradesat PRRH to undergo upgrades

Teresa Van sorts bottles at the April 10 Rainmakers Interact Club bottle drive to earn funds for six Seabin garbage collection units for harbours and waterfronts in the local region. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Bottle drive successful with more collected than can be sorted in one day

Rainmakers Interact Club supports local community with funds toward ocean garbage collection units

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read