Name: Shayla Anderson
Hometown: White Plains, Md.
Year in School: Senior
Major: Special Education
If you ever need an example of humility at its finest, seek out Shayla Anderson. If you don’t see her crown, you would never know that Shayla was recently named the 2016 Homecoming Queen. Friendly, approachable and very polite, chances are she wouldn’t bring up her major honor nor the impressive resume she has built for herself since arriving at Coastal.
But if you really want a look inside her heart, just ask Shayla what she is passionate about. She will immediately tell you it is working with children with disabilities. A special education major, Shayla has spent her time at Coastal serving those with disabilities just so she will be able to do the same in a career once she graduates. Serving in the LIFE program here at Coastal as a mentor, she doesn’t let campus boundaries prevent her from doing even more. You see, in her very minimal spare time, Shayla also works for SOS Healthcare Inc., as a mentor for children with autism.
Shayla makes it no secret that transferring to Coastal was one of the best decisions she has ever made. In her humble nature, she credits the University for building her confidence and leadership skills. She gives a nod to Coastal for teaching her what it means to be empowered and vows to help others through her positive experiences she has gained as a Chant. Of course, it is obvious that Shayla has achieved her success on her own merit. She simply benefitted from the CCU culture while at the same time doing a lot to add to it herself. Coastal Carolina nailed it by electing Shayla Anderson as Homecoming Queen.
Q&A with Shayla
How did you hear about Coastal?: I heard about Coastal from my career counselor in high school.
Why did you come to Coastal?: For the marine science program and to be closer to the beach.
Favorite professor: Dr. Sharon Richter
Favorite class: My graduate course which focuses on the characteristics of individuals with disabilities (birth to adulthood), effective teaching strategies and interventions, reforms in law, and how my personal educational beliefs and philosophies will guide my future practice(s). This course challenges to think more about how I interact with these individuals and how I can make their life experiences more meaningful.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: The diversity. It is so fulfilling to see people of different ethnicities, backgrounds and ability levels collaborate to make their experience at Coastal a life changing one.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: The proximity to the beach and the small-town community atmosphere, but what I love most are the sunrises and sunsets!
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: Sister of Gamma Phi Beta, Panhellenic Council Executive Vice President, LIFE Mentor, Council for Exceptional Children, member of Kappa Delta Pi International Education Society, Order of Omega Greek Society member, National Society of Leadership and Success member.
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: I work as a LIFE mentor for the Biddle Center (located in Spadoni College of Education). I also work for SOS Healthcare, Inc. as a mentor for children with Autism.
Plans after graduation?: Stay at Coastal for graduate school, accept a teaching position in South Carolina or accept an internship at Island Dolphin Care in Key Largo, Fla.
What are your hobbies?: I LOVE working with individuals with disabilities, watching Westerns, Hallmark or Lifetime movies, going to the beach, exploring downtown Conway and other local towns, antique shopping and reading.
Do you have any hidden talents?: My hidden talents would include writing and painting/crafting.
Bonus Info: I am so thankful I transferred to Coastal. I have learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I have gained confidence, countless leadership skills and developed what I consider to be the most lasting relationships. I have learned what it means to be empowered and I vow every day to empower others through my stories of growth and triumph here at Coastal Carolina University.