Great Grad: Skyla Love Acrey, Integrative Studies | College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
May 12, 2023

Great Grad: Skyla Love Acrey, Integrative Studies

For Skyla Love Acrey, upheaval and chaos were continuously part of her childhood. With her mother battling drug and alcohol addiction and her father's presence lacking, Skyla's formative years were spent in constant fight-or-flight mode. She was always moving, dragged from cities all over Ohio and Texas, and never considered attending college until finally settling in with her grandmother and step-grandfather, Linda and Ed, when she was 11.

"As much as I didn't think about college, I didn't really think about the future," Skyla says. "I wasn't one of those kids who dreamed of what they wanted to be when they grew up, because I didn't grow up believing that anything was possible. A lot of days, I was just trying to figure out how to get through that day."

Now Skyla will graduate with a bachelor's degree in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Theatre, Hospitality Management and Business. She hopes the accomplishment leads to a long career at UNT and the security she didn't have as a child.

"I grew up creating meals out of nothing and my friends' families would help feed me," she says. "I don't need to be rich. I just want to be able to support myself and have enough money to have fun and live my life."

Skyla and her brother are the first in their family to attend college. Her grandparents started asking about college when she moved in with them.

"I was just like, 'What do you mean?' My older brother, who is the only blood relative I'm close to at all anymore, had mentioned, 'Hey, have you ever thought about UNT?'" she says. "He actually gave me my first tour. I really liked it."

When she first arrived at UNT, she majored in theatre. But an advisor suggested integrative studies since it would help her career interests. Skyla enjoys clerical work and would like to be a manager, so she chose hospitality management and business to round out her experiences.

While Skyla still somewhat lives in a day-to-day mentality, she says she plans to stay in Denton for a while and is hopeful to be hired into a management position to begin working fulltime for UNT.

"I just want to have a comfortable lifestyle. I have a cat, so I want to get my cat a little buddy," Skyla says. "I have a partner who I've been with since high school, who I deeply love, so marriage is a personal goal."

In her free time, Skyla enjoys gaming on PC with her brother and boyfriend, snuggling with her cat, going thrifting and embroidering, which is how she feels close to her grandmother, who passed away during Skyla's senior year in high school.

"When I moved in with my grandparents, they just had so much pride and support for me, which made it important for me to make them proud."