A quick and witty mind and a gift of the gab are often what it takes to make people laugh. But one stand up comedian is a cut above the rest. Shayla Rivera is a rocket scientist and a seasoned corporate motivational speaker with a good sense of humor.
While growing up in her birthplace in Puerto Rico, her gnawing curiosity for learning what makes things tick quickly developed her interest in machines and technology that are typically the domain of the male-dominated world of her time.
Fate and a nurturing family that valued a good education conspired to shape her future. Armed with double degrees in aerospace engineering and psychology earned from Texas A&M University, Shayla Rivera started her career as a NASA rocket scientist on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where she worked for the next eight years.
In due time, her enthusiasm in the high tech and predictable world of rocketry and space science waned, giving way to her rising interest in the challenging field of psychology. Shayla Rivera tried her hand as a motivational speaker and honed her skills training corporate executives on stress management. Working closely with people on a personal level made her realize that she had the knack for discovering and tickling the funny bones of her avid listeners. After taking classes on the refinements of stand-up comedy, Shayla Rivera performed a short, yet successful routine that turned out to be the turning point of her career.
After working for four years at the Comedy Showcase in Houston, Shayla Rivera moved on and hit the road towards the Los Angeles comedy circuit. Falling back on her varied experiences, she put up her own solo show, “Rocket Science and Salsa,” which became her vehicle to break into the small screen and receiving in the process two NAACP Theater Award nominations for best actress and choreography.
Despite the demands of her work in the comedy circuit, Shayla Rivera finds the time to apply her motivational skills to help high school girls and many charitable and non-profit organizations. In recognition of her talent and deep involvement in charitable and educational endeavors, the city of Los Angeles presented her the “Mario Moreno Cantinflas Award.” Determined not to rest on her laurels as a renowned comedian and motivational speaker, Shayla Rivera embarked on a multi-performance journey to honor and cheer up homesick U.S. troops stationed overseas.