As a young child, Shayla was extremely outgoing and assertive . Being the youngest of four girls, Shayla was surrounded by family and supported by many. As the youngest, Shayla had the opportunity to live fearlessly and experience many things. This led to her zest for music, dance, film, athletics, art, and science. She also was an avid investor that participated in an investment group as the Vice President to secure her financial future. In her spare time, Shayla loved to travel and see the world. She loved experiencing new places and enjoying new activities. Her passion for music and education created opportunities for travel. She visited locations such as: Florida, California, Chicago and New Orleans. She loved swimming and being surrounded by the ocean. She always dreamed of traveling overseas to Hawaii, Paris and Japan. Her love of the theater combined with her love of travel allowed her to see many Stage productions as well in New York and Chicago.
Poetry, music and arts were also her passion. Over the years, Shayla has created many bodies of work. Her creativity and talent led to the creation of her artist name "Shay Butta." She always expressed her authenticity and personality in her style and hair. She always stayed true to herself in her creative expressions whether the medium was music, songwriting, poetry or sketchwork. Shayla was an innovator, that possessed ingenuity and a fearless spirit that could never be duplicated. In her music, she expressed her aspirations for success and dreamt for a more inclusive and peaceful world.
Shayla enjoyed giving back to the community and participated in volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity in Maumelle, Arkansas as well as the ASPCA in Raleigh, North Carolina. During her volunteer work, she helped build houses in deserving communities for military veterans and cared for puppies before adoption.
Shayla enjoyed acting and performing in her younger years. She began acting in a Christmas play in her local church New Restoration Outreach Community Center (NROCC) https://nrocc.org/ , where Bishop Eric L Ellis and First Lady Beverly Ellis encouraged the youth to explore their talents. She continued throughout her years at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School ( c/o 2017), landing numerous roles in plays such as: "A Christmas Carol", "Footloose", "Proof", Into the Woods, and The Importance of Being Earnest. Shayla also contributed her acting prowess to plays such as Sherlock Holmes and the Hands of Othello at North Carolina Central University (c/o 2020). At the age of 16, Shayla and her sister Kayla saved up over $1000 dollars a piece to go see Hamilton on Broadway in New York City! Hamilton became her favorite play as she memorized every line of each act and performance. She wanted to attend Elon University because she aspired to take the path that Alumni students did who previously acted in Hamilton. She eventually won the prestigious Presidential scholarship from Elon University but was unable to attend because this scholarship didn't cover the entire tuition.
Shayla Marie Chavis absolutely loved science and particularly chemistry. Throughout her childhood, she participated in school science projects and attended numerous math competitions. She excelled in both math and science, which ultimately led to her pursuing a career in chemistry. In order to match passion with action, she decided to follow in her sisters' footsteps and attend North Carolina Central University. Shayla was awarded a full scholarship and accepted into the Honors college.
Armed with the support of North Carolina Central University chemistry department, Shayla never took a summer off. She earned many opportunities to work with other University chemistry departments to conduct research, specifically in the area of Polymer Science. Shayla's research was conducted at LSU in collaboration with the SMART Polymer REU program, Following this, she took her talents to Penn State working alongside of PREM-NCCU Interdisciplinary REU Program. In the Summer of 2020, Shayla researched at USM in collaboration with the Polymer Science Remote REU Program. She attended conferences at Boston University, Georgia Tech, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University and Penn State. Shayla aspired to create revolutionary strides in the scientific community by ultimately working for NASA. Shayla aspired to conduct research in polymer science and chemistry would one day revolutionize the field.