Semper Fi: Kayla Catalano


Who would have thought a 16-year old girl would be planning to enlist in the Marine Corps after high school?

Well, junior Kayla Catalano is ready for whatever the world has in store for her. 

This may not be surprising when you consider the quote that inspires her:

“The Devil whispered in my ear, ‘You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.’ Today I whispered in the Devil’s ear, ‘I am the storm.’”

Kayla has lived in New Jersey her entire life. Before moving to Verona in 2012, Kayla lived in Linden, NJ and says she “had a pretty rough time there.” In fifth grade, she was new to Verona, but adjusted quickly. 

  She describes herslef as very close with her mom’s fiance and says they have “a sarcastic relationship” and that she looks up to him.  

Kayla is an older sister to her half-brother, Jaxon. Jaxon is 10 and her biological father’s son. She has a step sister named Taylor who is 20. 

Kayla is hardworking and describes herself as determined. She takes four AP classes this year, giving her a total of seven in her high school career.  She claims that it “gives me opportunities to gain credit towards college.” Freshman year, Kayla took AP Human Geography. She was the only freshman in the class and said “It was intimidating, but that didn’t stop me.”

She is active. She runs cross country and track and does everything she can to maintain her student-athlete lifestyle. 

Kayla never fails to walk with her head held high. She is always ready for whatever life hits her with. She is intelligent and witty. She works hard for everything and succeeds. When she does not, she finds new ways to work even harder. 

Kayla hopes to go to Stockton University, after she goes to Parris Island, South Carolina for 13 weeks of boot camp. If she completes it and graduates, she will be an official Marine. She will be part of the 6+2 Reserves. She will apply before this adventure starts and will receive military and veteran privileges. This means that she is guaranteed admissions to Stockton. She said  that she looks forward to “starting a new chapter of [her] life”.