Kayla Burrell holds her diploma, dressed in a graduation cap and gown

Kayla Burrell graduated from the University of Missouri in May 2017.

Kayla Burrell graduated from the University of Missouri last May with thousands of other students, but unlike the vast majority of her classmates, she walked across the commencement stage as a published author.

Burrell’s book, The College Experience: A Message to the Millennials, is based on her time spent at Mizzou. In it she offers advice and encouragement about the college experience.

Burrell, who is from North County St. Louis, hopes her book inspires prospective students from her hometown to attend college. She wants to open their eyes to the possibilities and opportunities that college can provide for them.

“I came up with the idea to write about the college experience for people like my little brother, who is headed to college and doesn’t really know what to expect,” Burrell said.

The book is separated into 22 chapters and discusses topics such as networking, living in a residence hall, religion, choosing a major and romance. Burrell, who has enjoyed writing poetry since she was young, also includes a poem at the end of each chapter.

“I think there are a lot of brilliant young people in my hometown who have no idea that going to college can open up so many doors for them to find success in a number of areas in life,” Burrell said.

When writing her book, Burrell received a lot of help and encouragement from her mentor Rafael Gely, professor at the MU School of Law.

“Mizzou helped me realize that anything is possible and there is really no limit to what you can achieve when you believe in your own path to success,” Burrell said. “I’m hoping my book can encourage people who look like me to find happiness and success.”

For more of her story, please see Recent Graduate, Published Author.