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Southlake Style

Dragon Dossier: Kimberly Holmes Wiggins

Nov 07, 2011 03:40PM ● By Mike

Sometimes we all enjoy looking back at the past and wondering what certain people are up to. It’s fun to re-connect and see what path people have taken. Every year when we publish our Dragon Pride issue we love to check out where some of our past Dragon football players have landed. But, did you ever wonder about all the other Dragons who leave the hallowed halls of Carroll to seek their fame and fortune, following their dreams? We did, and we turned to the Carroll Alumni Association to see who we could find. Our search ended when we connected with Kimberly Holmes Wiggins, Class of 1998, enjoying her life as a newlywed and her career as a News Anchor/Reporter for FOX 19 television in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here’s what she had to say.

Southlake Style: You graduated from Carroll in 1998. How many years were you a Dragon?

Kimberly Holmes Wiggins: I moved to the United States from Saudi Arabia during the summer before my sophomore year so I attended Carroll for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.

SS: How did spending a large portion of your formative years growing up in Saudi Arabia affect you when you came to Southlake? Was it easy to “fit” in?

KHW: High school is challenging enough without having to move from a completely different country. It was tough, but honestly, not too bad. I think life in Saudi prepared me more than I ever could have imagined. Growing up in the Middle East allowed me to be a part of a myriad of cultural experiences from a very young age. Adapting to differences became a part of life. I grew up surrounded by those of different races, religions and cultures, and loved it. That experience has shaped me into the woman I am today and even helped my career. I feel comfortable when I’m in new and unfamiliar situations. Moving to the U.S. was one of those experiences. Southlake is a bit insulated from the “real” world, but I had amazing teachers and good friends who weren’t afraid to allow me to explore the walls beyond our microcosm.

SS: What was your favorite part/memory of being a Dragon?

KHW: I have to admit that I have several.
I absolutely loved being an Emerald Belle! I can still remember having the highest high kicks on the squad. (It may be just my own warped memory, but that’s fine with me! Leave my dream alone!) I remember those grueling summer practices. It was hard work, but definitely worth it. I’ve been a dancer since I was a little girl. I studied tap, jazz, and ballet for years and loved it. My mom was a majorette when she was in high school and clearly passed on the dancing gene!
I also loved being a P.A.L. and speaking to various classes about issues of race and diversity, and lastly, but certainly not least, being prom queen was pretty cool, too.

SS: When did you know you wanted to be a journalist?

KHW: I actually had that revelation in college. In high school, I was absolutely sure I wanted to be a pediatric dentist. I idolized my dentist (Dr. Sandra Armstrong). She actually gave me my first internship! I worked for her for one year and was hooked. I then went to Duke University, and after one year of those basic science courses, I started to rethink my career path… I knew I could pull it together and work hard enough to succeed, but I wasn’t really sure if that was my ideal career. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and remembered how much I loved telling stories. I’m the oldest child and grandchild in my family so I became accustomed to telling all sorts of stories. There’s only one field where you can make a living by telling stories so I looked into journalism switched my major during my sophomore year in college, and the rest is history!

SS: Texans are known for being proud of their heritage and Southlake is certainly full of Dragon Pride. Did the enthusiasm and spirit of being a Carroll Dragon impact you and provide you with the extra enthusiasm and perseverance needed to achieve your personal goals?

KHW: Definitely. C’mon! I’m a Texan who graduated from CHS who went on to become a Duke Blue Devil! I don’t think anyone could be better equipped for life, right? I learned the value and benefit of working hard from my amazing parents, but those lessons were advanced during my years at Carroll. 

On a serious note, I’ve lived through some extremely tough times and big disappointments. The beauty is that after persevering through the tough times, I often ran smack dab into success’ beautiful face. For instance, when first I applied to graduate schools, I was rejected from each one I applied to! Can you imagine? It was terrible. I then enrolled in classes in the one graduate program I thought I wanted to attend, studied harder than ever for my GRE exam, and applied again the next year. That year, I was accepted into my dream program: Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. If I didn’t learn to push through those trying times when I was young, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve that dream.

SS: You mentioned that you just got married this past summer. Congratulations! How did you meet your husband?

KHW: I met my husband Rasheed when I was a freshman at Duke University. He was a senior from New Jersey, and I was intrigued. HA! We didn’t start dating until five years later. We were both in a mutual friend’s wedding in Washington, D.C. in 2004. We’ve been together ever since. That’s actually the exact spot he proposed to me last fall.
Our wedding took place on June 4th at the Duke Chapel in Durham, North Carolina. It was only fitting since it was where we met. The wedding was amazing, and I can’t wait to spend my life with him.

SS: You mentioned loving your southern comfort food. What’s your favorite dish to eat or cook that you just can’t get in Cincinnati?

KHW: One of my favorite wedding presents is our deep fryer! I absolutely LOVE fried catfish, greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, and peach cobbler. Cincinnati definitely feels southern, but no one can make fried food or brisket like us Texans! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

SS: What advice would you give Carroll students today to prepare them for their career choices?

KHW: Humble yourself and work hard. You need to be willing and able to start at the bottom and work your way up, but above all else, you must have fun while you’re doing it. I had three unpaid internships at television stations and spent many nights, weekends and holidays working for free just to shadow someone whose work I admired. My first television news internship was at KXAS-TV in Ft. Worth. I can’t tell you how much I learned that summer. I was lucky enough to be paired with an amazing reporter and photographers, and they really taught me the foundation of the business. It can be tiring, but in the end, hard work does pay off.

It certainly does, Kimberly. Thanks for giving us the chance to catch up with you.