Skyla Nieves was born to an addicted mother. At age 7, she started smoking marijuana. Her first drink of alcohol came two years later. After bouts with addiction and homelessness, she was in drug treatment seven different times before she turned her life around and eventually enrolled in Catawba Valley Community College’s nursing program.
In 2014, she graduated with honors. A member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and vice president of the Catawba Valley Association of Nursing Students, she graduated with a 4.0 GPA. She was offered multiple nursing jobs.
Her goal is to one day work as a nurse at the Julian F. Keith Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center in Black Mountain, where she spent time as an addict in rehab.