Kela S.Chavis began her role as President in September of 2020. She is responsible for ensuring the maintaining the day to day operations of the foundation. Mrs. Chavis strives to organize effective foundational infrastructure, serve as a strong representation of the organization and foster grantship connections.
In the Spring of 2005, Mrs. Chavis graduated from Campbell University and received her B.A in Business Administration. She served in the United States Military from July 1990 to February 1996 until she was honorably discharged. She was employed at IBM, Nortel, BTI, Access Point, Fidelity Investments and Carolina Center for Medical Excellence. Throughout the years, Mrs. Chavis has been instrumental in the creation of several businesses. These include: Global Investment Group (1999), Blessed Creations (2001), LAKEL Networks (2008), and Sound Expressions Inc. (2008).
Her passions include cooking, traveling, music, and spending time with family.
As the CEO of the Pay it Forward Foundation, Mrs. Chavis aspires to afford future chemists and thespians the value of a higher education whereby they may excel and become productive citizens in society in honor of Shayla Marie Chavis.
Lawrence Chavis Jr. began his role as Vice President in September 2020. He is responsible for working alongside entities such as the board of directors as well as senior executives of the foundation. Other responsibilities include: planning, developing, and the enforcement and execution of policies and objectives for the foundation, As Vice President, Mr. Chavis works to ensure the organization maintains its value and successfully meets all established goals.
Mr. Chavis currently holds one of the highest certifications in the Cyber Industry called the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). In 2018, Mr. Chavis received his Associates Degree in Network Technology. He is currently working on the completion of his Bachelor's Degree in Cyber Security from Champlain College. In 1988, Mr. Chavis served in the United States Military until his honorable discharge in 1996. He has worked for AT&T Government Solutions Inc. since 2006 as a Cyber security engineer. Since its creation in 1996, Mr. Chavis has served as the President of Global Investment Group.
His passions include: Martial Arts, Chess, Marksmanship, Investing, Sports, and watching his family grow and succeed.
As the Vice President of the Pay it Forward Foundation, Mr. Chavis aspires to plan, develop and enforce policies and objectives for the organization to ensure it maintains its values and meets established goals in honor of Shayla Marie Chavis.
Brianna D. M. Chavis was appointed as IT Lead in September 2020. She is responsible for leading the foundation in terms of technological direction, serving as the point of contact for technical issues and quality management of all things tech.
She was born in Akron, OH but holds Raleigh, North Carolina close to her heart as this is where she grew up. In 2007, Brianna enlisted in the United States Air Force. Throughout the duration of her service in the Air Force, Brianna worked closely on computer system repair and IT support.She spent eight honorable years as a flight crew member aboard the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control Surveillance (AWACS) aircraft. She earned three Air Medals for Meritorious Service overseas.
Brianna separated from the United States Air Force in June of 2015 and started working for the Boeing Company in July 2015 as a Cybersecurity Specialist. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity and is certified in Security +.
In her free time, Brianna enjoys gaming, film, dance and traveling. She currently resides in Moore, Oklahoma with her wife Brandi as well as her two furbabies.
As a member of the Pay it Forward Foundation staff, Brianna will ensure the upkeep and maintenance of our website and social media platforms, resolve IT issues and determine quality of technology utilized by the foundation in honor of Shayla Marie Chavis.
Andrea Dixon is a native of Miami, Florida although she wholeheartedly calls Alexandria, Louisiana home. She served in the United States Army on active duty for five and a half years and was assigned to bases in Texas, South Korea and Virginia. Andrea also spent time as an Army Reservist for two and half years serving in northern Virginia. In addition to being an U.S. Army Veteran, Andrea is also an Air Force “military brat”.After serving in the military, Andrea spent the next 18 years in the non-profit world working for the Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond, Virginia, and Habitat for Humanity. During her time with Habitat for Humanity, she served is several roles – the Central Atlantic Regional Administrator, North Carolina AmeriCorps Coordinator, Organizational Development Consultant, to name a few. In her final position with Habitat for Humanity, she served as the full-time Executive Director of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi affiliate. During her time with the affiliate, Habitat successfully built 17 new homes for families in the Hattiesburg area, including the affiliate’s first subdivision and three additional houses for families internationally through its annual tithing efforts.Andrea’s civilian federal career began in 2012 at the Alexandria VA Health Care System as the Secretary for Social Work Service and during her time at this VA, she became a graduate of the 2014 Emerging VA Leaders program. She left the VA briefly to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2018, Andrea returned to the Department of Veteran Affairs where she continues to serve as an HR Specialist in the Workers’ Compensation program.She enjoys writing, traveling, and movies in her free time. Andrea holds an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration from Wake Technical Community College, an Associate of Arts degree in General Business from Upper Iowa University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Upper Iowa University, and a Master of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Upper Iowa University
Desinia Miller was appointed as Treasurer in September 2020. She manages and oversees the financial affairs in collaboration with the foundations’ board of directors. Other responsibilities include: financial reporting, financial budgeting, funding, collection, and distribution of funds. In 2016, Dr. Miller received her Doctor of Philosophy in Toxicology. While pursuing her PhD, she conducted bench research at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigating how environmental toxicants can lead to or exacerbate cardiometabolic diseases. She currently works as Project Manager in the clinical research landscape, where she has managed numerous clinical trials in indications such as dermatology, traumatic brain injury, and COVID-19. Her passions include: Food, Music, Outdoors, New experiences, and Travel As the Treasurer of the Pay it Forward Foundation, Dr. Miller will ensure the foundation maintains adequate funding for the timely distribution of the Pay it Forward Scholarship in honor of Shayla Marie Chavis.
Kayla Chavis began her role as secretary in September of 2020. She is responsible for maintaining meeting minutes, organizing foundation documents and other secretarial duties. She has a passion for writing, music and psychology.
In the Spring of 2018, Ms. Chavis graduated from North Carolina Central University and received her B.A in Psychology. During her time there, Ms. Chavis worked alongside Dr. Christopher Edwards as a junior researcher. She currently attends North Carolina Central University and is working on the completion of her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. She also serves as a writer with the Classical Voices of NC Arts Journal.
As a member of the Pay it forward staff, Ms. Chavis aspires to continue to build Shayla's legacy and to continue her dream to inspire other budding chemists and thespians.
Paul Rollin is an Engineering Associate with the ExxonMobil Chemical Company. He has been with ExxonMobil Chemical for 10 year where he has focused on both Customer and Application Development. In that time, he has earned several patents. He has also developed several new polyolefin based resins and resin compositions that are used to produce nonwovens used in the personal hygiene market. Prior to that, Paul worked for the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company. Paul’s 13 year career with DuPont began in the Tyvek Business developing nonwoven products used in protective apparel, packaging, graphics and construction segments. He later transferred to the DuPont Advanced Composite Technology Business where he produced nonwovens and nonwoven laminate structures based on bicomponent fiber spinning technology. Paul’s formal training in polymer synthesis and structure/property relationships, coupled with the experience he’s developed in both industrial polymerization and fiber processing, have established him as a globally recognized expert in nonwoven production.
Paul earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. He then earned his Doctorate in Polymer Science from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Paul lives in Houston, Texas with his wife, Jessica and their daughter, Harper.
Zachary Roberts is a director and educator who has directed over 40 productions including Desire under the Elms, All My Sons, Eurydice, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Steel Magnolias, Miss Saigon, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Importance of Being Earnest. He is a graduate of Campbell University (B.A.), East Caroline University (B.F.A.), and he earned his M.F.A. in Directing from Western Illinois University. After graduate school, he lived in the fantastic theatre town of Chicago where he worked in the casting department of the Tony Award winning Goodman Theatre. He was also the casting director and an assistant director at Provision Theater Company and worked as an assistant stage manager at TimeLine Theatre (2011 Wall Street Journal’s Theatre Company of the Year). Currently, Zachary is the Fine Arts Director at North Raleigh Christian Academy where he leads the fine arts department, teaches courses in theatre, and directs two theatrical productions each year. In the past, he served as the Director of Theatre at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School where he was a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction and Teacher of the Year. He is married to the beautiful Shannon Roberts and has three precocious children Lila, Oliver, and Truman. Zachary was pleased and proud to teach and direct Ms. Shayla Chavis at SRMHS.
Sonya R. Carter is a District Title I Lead English Language Arts-Literacy Specialist in Zone 2 of Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, GA
She graduated with her bachelor's in elementary education from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA in 1994. Upon completion of her degree, she returned home to New Orleans, LA and worked in New Orleans Public Schools for 11 years as a classroom teacher, gifted teacher, intervention teacher, instructional coach, and staff developer. She also received her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans during her tenure. Sonya relocated to Atlanta, GA due to hurricane Katrina and joined Fulton County schools where she worked 3 years as a classroom teacher, 6 years as an ELA-Literacy coach, and 6 years as a Lead ELA-Literacy Specialist. She also received her Educational Specialist degree in Instructional Leadership from Nova SouthEastern University during this time.
Sonya developed a passion for teaching students to read which led to her being promoted from the classroom to district positions where she trains and develops teachers and school level leaders in the areas of early reading and reading & language arts. Sonya’s extensive literacy and coaching background and facilitator and leadership opportunities have afforded her a wealth of expertise and instructional leadership strategies that are beneficial to helping schools achieve their academic goals in ELA-literacy.
Sonya currently works as a District Title I Lead ELA-Literacy Specialist in Zone 2 of Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, GA where she supports schools with meeting or exceeding their strategic plan goals in ELA-Literacy focusing on increasing student achievement via data collection and analysis and improving Tier 1 Instruction via standards-based instruction using research and evidence -based practices.
When she is not working, Sonya loves to spend time with family, watching sports, singing, and listening to music. On the weekends, you can find her watching college or NFL football, NBA basketball or listening to music or attending concerts. Sonya is thrilled to be a part of the Shayla Marie Chavis Scholarship Advisory Board and looks forward to furthering Shayla’s legacy by helping to create positive change through this opportunity for scholarship recipients.