Former Glee star Naya Rivera was reported missing on Wednesday, July 8 and is presumed dead. The star rented a boat on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, and headed out on the water with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey. Josey was later found on the boat alone and asleep, though Naya was not with him. An investigation into her disappearance is still ongoing.
Naya is sister to Nickayla Rivera and one of three children shared by Yolanda Rivera and George Rivera, but who exactly is Nickayla?
She’s A Professional Model And Social Media Influencer
Born on November 2, 1994, 25-year-old Nickayla has built up quite a following on social media thanks to her stunning good looks and status as an in-demand rising model.
She boasts an impressive 78,000 followers on Instagram and is currently signed to top modeling agencies Photogenics in Los Angeles and Wilhelmina in New York, following in the footsteps of her mother who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a model.
Nickayla regularly shares stunning photos of herself on professional shoots with her fans, which get thousands of likes, and is friends with some of the most famous faces in the business. She previously shared a photo to social media with fellow models Chrissy Teigen and Chanel Iman, which can be seen via her Instagram account here.
Her Instagram page also features photos of her attending a number of high-profile events, including the 2018 Revolve Awards, while she regularly promotes clothes from the Revolve brand.
As for how she got into modeling, she credits her mom and sister for helping her to find her career path.
Nickayla revealed in a 2012 interview with Models.com after she was named the outlet’s Model of the Week that it was her mom and sister who first encouraged to sign up to her first agency as a teenager.
“When I was 15-years-old my mother and sister introduced me to my first agency and from then I began modeling,” she recalled.
She appears to still be close with her sister and has shared photos with the actress on her page on more than one occasion, including one that showed their undeniable family resemblance in August 2016.
Having pursued her career ever since leaving high school, the star has worked with big-name photographers, including Tony Duran, and appeared in a Sports Illustrated 2016 Swimsuit Issue casting photo shoot.
More recently, she’s used her social media influence to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd earlier this year and has shared Instagram posts that shed light on racism and injustice, which can be seen here.
She also has her own YouTube page where she previously shared her workout routine and a vlog of her trip to Coachella in 2017 but hasn’t updated it with a new video in almost three years.
She Loves To Travel
As well as stunning photos from professional and candid shoots, Nickayla’s feed is jam-packed with travel photos that show her in idyllic locations.
Though she’s based in Los Angeles, her Instagram feed includes looks at the model sporting swimwear in a number of tropical paradises, including The Bahamas, Mexico, and Nicaragua as well as cities such as London.
She joked about her passion for far off destinations in her Models.com interview, where she admitted that she even sometimes pretends to be from different countries to practice her accent skills.
“Talking in different accents ranging from Irish, British, and Southern,” she said when asked if she does anything “uncool.”
“My friends and I love to make up characters from other countries and talk to people in the different accents.”
She also shared her desire to visit both Puerto Rico and Bali.
“I’d love to visit Puerto Rico because that’s where my heritage came from and I’d also love to visit Bali to learn more about the culture,” Nickayla said. In addition to traveling, she’s also into hiking, singing, dancing, reading, and playing the guitar.