Mia Mullins grew up in Virgie, Kentucky, got married at 16 and struggled with addiction.
During her first time in recovery, her counselor recommended NOSW and Mia applied. In her essay she wrote that she didn’t want her past to define the rest of her life.
“I really did not think that I would get picked to come to the program,” Mia says.
But she did get picked, and she came to Berea for the summer 2016 residential session.
“It was just amazing,” she says. She visited the state capital and other Kentucky landmarks, ate sushi for the first time and did an internship at an early childhood center.
After NOSW, Mia did well for about a year, until she reunited with her fiancé and relapsed into addiction.
She says the strength and confidence she gained from NOSW helped her get back into recovery, leave the relationship and put her life back on track. She entered treatment in December 2019. While in treatment, she completed an internship and the Peer Support Academy. She’s now a certified Kentucky Peer Support Specialist.
And she decided to go to college. Mia completed her associate’s degree in 2022 and graduated summa cum laude with the President’s Award. She’s now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human services. Mia received NOSW’s 2022 Jane B. Stephenson Scholarship to continue her education. She wants to be a targeted case manager and help others in recovery.
“The New Opportunity School really was like a band of sisters,” she says. “They actually believed in me and knew that I was something more than my history. That’s why it’s special to me.”
She’s busy with school, parenting her four kids and helping with childcare for a friend in recovery. But she’s grateful to be independent and pursuing her dreams.