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Archbishop Carroll student heads to New York City to pursue her dream of working in the film industry

Kalayi-Teuka Mushala, a member of the class of 2024 at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, will be attending New York University and majoring in drama and business studies. (Photo courtesy of Archbishop Carroll High School)

The bright lights of Broadway await Kalayi-Teuka Mushala, who will be majoring in drama and business studies at New York University next year. The Archbishop Carroll High School senior feels a call to the spotlight and hopes to pursue acting in film. Mushala already has experience in front and behind the camera after starring in “After Hours,” a short film she worked on with classmates and teachers that won third place in a film contest sponsored by the Alliance To End Human Trafficking. However, her favorite role to date was her recent portrayal of Mrs. Claus, the lead in the school play “Reindeer Games.”

“Right now, I’m looking at acting mostly, specifically for film. But I am open to directing, especially with directing the short film and everything,” Mushala said.

Actors Mushala looks up to include Dominique Fishback and Angela Bassett. The latter, Mushala said, was a strong student academically who chose to pursue a career in the arts – a choice she identifies with.

“It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, why don’t you just go into law, go to med school… But it’s not that I haven’t thought about those, it’s just I don’t think that’s for me, I don’t think that’s my calling. I feel like I am called to story tell, and it’s something that I definitely put a lot of thought into, a lot of praying into. So I’m just following what I believe God’s will for me is, and just letting him guide me is very crucial right now,” Mushala said.

Mushala attended St. Anthony Catholic School for middle school, which is not far from Archbishop Caroll in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C. She plans to keep in touch with the teachers who inspired her and shared how Archbishop Carroll has prepared her for life after graduation.

“I think Archbishop Carroll gave me a foundation and a platform and allowed me to build crucial skills,” Mushala said. “I was a social media intern, so [I was] under an administrator, and I did morning and afternoon announcements… I was also an office aide, so I spent a lot of time and I was a student investor, which included me talking to a lot of adults, talking with different people, parents, administrators and faculty, building those relationships, understanding basic administrative skills, communication skills.”

She feels Archbishop Carroll has helped her embrace her faith as a nondenominational Christian.

“I am a peer minister, so I feel like being in peer ministry allowed me to also have that platform to share my faith and be more bold in my faith,” Mushala said, explaining that before she became a peer minister during her junior year, “I was still figuring out my faith and I was kind of keeping it closed off.”

Mushala, who also played volleyball for Archbishop Carroll, hopes to keep in touch with her high school community in the future, attending reunions and returning for school sporting events.

“Here I just feel blessed to have great relationships with my teachers and the administration. Some people never get to really meet administrators and everything and having them know you by your name and actually care about you,” Mushala said.