Latina Speaker Comedian Shayla Rivera Tours for Troops

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Renowned Actor, Comedian and Motivational keynote speaker Shayla Rivera kicks off a multi-performance tour in Kuwait and Iraq for U.S. troops today. Locations have not been disclosed.

Renowned Actor, Comedian and Motivational keynote speaker Shayla Rivera kicks off a multiperformance tour in Kuwait and Iraq for U.S. troops today. Locations have not been disclosed.

When colleagues at Latino Speakers Bureau mentioned that she was beginning a wonderful journey of honor for servicemen and women, Rivera replied, "The honor is all mine!"

She will also be featured on "Comedy Rehab" with Paul Rodriguez, airing on Comedy Central on May 1st at 10P PST

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Shayla Rivera grew up with an avid interest in machinery and fixing things. Rivera's family always encouraged her to go to college and have a professional career.

Rivera attended Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering. Then she joined McDonnell-Douglas Space Systems at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, working on NASA's shuttle and space station programs for the next eight years. Stymied by a lack of enthusiasm for her field, Rivera left to pursue her abiding interest in psychology and became a motivational speaker. She worked extensively as a corporate trainer, holding seminars on stress management for executives at companies around the country. It was while she was conducting seminars that Rivera discovered her comedic skills. Rivera signed up for a weekend class on stand-up comedy, at the end of which she performed a five-minute routine. It was a rousing success and a personal turning point. "I knew I'd found what I was looking for," Rivera recalled.

Almost immediately Rivera became a regular at the Comedy Showcase in Houston, where she honed her act for the next four years. She gave up her day job and went on the road. She persevered, continued to work widely on the comedy circuit, and in 1999 moved to Los Angeles with the goal of going on television. She used her experiences to create the hit one-woman show "Rocket Science and Salsa," directed by Debbie Allen, in which Rivera toured the country. She has appeared on television in "Girls Behaving Badly," "Ultimate Revenge" and "Funny is Funny." She was a guest on "The Roseanne Show" and "The Martin Short Show." She has also headlined on entertainment programs for Univision, Galavision and on "The Latino Comedy Jam" for Telemundo.

Rivera continues to perform live whenever her schedule allows. In addition, she applies her expertise as a motivational speaker to help high school girls. In 2004, she received the "Mario Moreno Cantinflas Award" presented by the city of Los Angeles in recognition of her talent and involvement in charitable and educational programs.

California based Latino Speakers Bureau has been working for visibility of successful Latinos who are on the U.S. and international keynote speaking circuit since 2002. For more information on events with Shayla Rivera and other top Hispanic speakers, contact 310-937-2789 or speakers @ latinospeakers.com

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LEONOR MCCALL-RODRIGUEZ

LEONOR MCCALL-RODRIGUEZ
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