Humans of Derby: Kayley Ramsey

Courtney Brown

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College is thought to be a place of self-discovery for many students, especially when deciding their career path, but for Kayley Ramsey, discovering her passion in high school led her to greater experiences.

Ramsey is a Youth Services Librarian at Derby Public Library. She moved to Derby shortly after getting married and has been working at the library for several months.

“I have always loved reading and books and education,” Ramsey said. “I minored in English wherever I was in college, and so I thought that I’d probably enjoy working at the library.”

Since she is a new employee, Ramsey shadowed other librarians at first and watched them conduct their own programs. Now she is excited about doing her own this fall.

“I’m preparing for my program in the fall, which is family night,” Ramsey said. “So every Monday night I’ll promote a couple different books. I’ll have a theme and we’ll play some games and sing songs.”

Ramsey is not only a librarian but also a photographer for Flash Photography Company.

“They give me a couple of assignments a week where I go and take pictures for companies and something like that,” she said. “And I teach classes at Wichita City Arts.”

Ramsey went to college in Arkansas at John Brown University, where she majored in photography and minored in English. While she enjoyed the “really good art program,” she decided to go there because it is a private university.

“I’m Christian and I’ve grown up in a Christian home and I really liked how that university in particular, like, stressed kind of integrating your faith in your work like using whatever talent and ability you have and to be compassionate to people and help others,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey chose to combine her faith with photography, a love that she developed when she went on a mission trip to India her senior year in high school.

“I like being able to bring (the pictures) back, and I felt like it was super helpful whenever I was telling people about my trip to be able to show them these pictures and for them to kind of understand a little . . . how it felt to make a difference and . . . what is was like seeing the different difficult conditions they were in,” she said.

It wasn’t Ramsey’s last trip to India. While in college, Ramsey had an internship to take pictures of a medical missionary trips.

“They gave medicine to people in really rural villages who didn’t have any resources or even knowledge of sanitation. . . . I got to photograph that and kind of tell that story and as part of my internship I published, I kind of helped design and write their magazine,” she said.                                                                                                 

Ramsey has also traveled to other countries, like Ireland and France, and throughout the United States, but India is her favorite.

“I really like India because I think the culture is so unique and vibrant and I like how everyone there is so warm and hospitable. . . so they’re really fun to interact with,” she said.

Ramsey’s husband, Andrew, also loves visiting different places. He grew up traveling because his father is president of Tom Cox World Ministries, the same mission organization that Ramsey interned for during college.

“It was a pretty good internship because I got some job experience and I got to travel and I found my husband through that,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey actually knew Andrew in sixth grade because they went to the same church, but she did not know him very well because he and his family were away traveling most of the year.

“Andrew was my friend in Facebook way back in sixth grade, and so I asked Andrew to contact me and give me his dad’s number. And then we just kept talking and picked up conversation again and became good friends.”

Ramsey and Andrew went to colleges five hours away, but when they came back home for spring break, they had their first official date. They continued to date during their senior year of college and later married.

“Being in love kind of made my senior year harder because I just wanted to get away,” she said.

The Ramseys moved from their hometown to Derby when Andrew became Youth Pastor at a church in Haysville. Like his wife, Andrew enjoys working with children.

“He’s kind of a teenager himself,” Ramsey said laughing, “He can be really silly. He likes to goof off and play games, so he has a lot of fun there.”

Not including staying in Ireland for four months, Ramsey has only lived in Arkansas until she came to Derby, but she enjoys the town so far.

“It’s a nice town,” she said.  “. . . I like the convenience of everything being right across the street because I kind of grew up in a really small town. . .so we had to drive ten minutes to go to town and go to the grocery store and I have Dillon’s right across the street and so it’s kind of nice.”

Ramsey loves her jobs and her experiences traveling, but her greatest happiness comes from her “relationship with Jesus.”

“I love Jesus and think he’s amazing and what he’s done for me as a person and just knowing that he loves me no matter what gives me a lot of happiness,” Ramsey said, “I have someone I can trust, and I know that even when things are bad that things are going to turn out all right and that there’s a God who’s really powerful and cares for me and has a plan for my life.”

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Humans of Derby: Kayley Ramsey