Local talent winner readjusts to life
After winning the Clash of the Talents in Merritt last month, life went back to normal for the 19-year-old Shaylene Kersey, and she isn’t thinking of a music career.
“I would love to pursue music, but the fund is not there,” she said. “I don’t really know what I’ll do, yet. I’ll probably be a nurse or something.”
What is remarkable about this talented singer is that she never had lessons; instead, she learned what she knows from her mother.
“I just kind of had it, naturally,” she said. “I never had any lessons or anything and I guess I’m lucky.”
Her mother helped cultivate Kersey’s musical talent and taught her how to play the guitar.
During the performances, she sang a song her mother wrote called “Dogs and Trucks,” and then the Adele song, “Rolling in the Deep,” choices that helped her net the $1,700 first-place prize.
“I put $1,000 on my bills, and I put $700 on a computer and the accessories for it and I got some gas,” she said. “I also got some dog food.”
She moved to Merritt approximately 10 years ago, and graduated from Merritt Secondary School one year ahead of her class.
After finishing grade school, she enrolled at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, where she completed a care-aid assistant course.
It was around that time that she started working at the Florentine as a care aid.
She said she doesn’t plan to move from Merritt, at least for now. After moving from Abbotsford when she was 9, she discovered that life here is so much sweeter, and she enjoys the familiarity of the environment.
“Abbotsford is very fast-paced and you don’t know anybody... nobody waves,” she said. “Merritt is very homey and everyone tries to help each other and they are very supportive. I love Merritt for that.”