I grew up just above the mason dixon line on the south side of St. Louis. I am the daughter of a St. Louis Police Officer. I am proud to say my mother is the first woman to ever serve the city as a Major. My father is an Army Veteran and a Deputy in Orange County California.
Here is the answer to the infamous “STL” question: where did you go to School? I attended The Wilson School, Ladue Junior High School, which is now Ladue Middle and I graduated with just 16 people from Tower Grove Christian School right across from the park. My brothers both graduated “CBC High School,” and they now play college basketball.
I first enrolled in Mississippi Hospitality School back in 2009. I attended Alcorn State University the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the United States. The University was founded in 1871 to educate the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans. There I served as Ms. Freshmen, the class queen in 2005. I pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and on the weekends I traveled the state singing with the ASU Gospel Choir. However, most of my time was spent in the Mass Communications Department. That’s where I first learned to produce, report and anchor working for ASU TV13.
I’ve been a proud member of the National Association of Black Journalist. As a student, they spent lots of money investing in me. In college the organization flew me to both FAMU and North Carolina A&T to report for their student run TV stations. For that reason, I am also an honorary Rattler and Aggie.
Despite my hard work, I couldn’t find a job after college. It was just after the Stock Market crashed and TV stations across the country were still feeling the recession. There was a hiring freeze.
My mom had just retired, my brothers were still in elementary school and I needed a job so I went back to waiting tables at Applebees. That has always been my favorite job. My co-workers on forest park parkway have always been supportive of my vision to tell stories. They let me pick up shifts whenever I wanted and reminded me I could be successful by staying the course. While working as an “Apple Buddy,” I learned to multi task, smile when people are mean and never judge a person by what they may look like.
Thanks to the post 9/11 GI Bill, I attended grad school at Arkansas State University. Everyday I played “Juicy” by Biggie Smalls and dreamed of my goal to anchor the news in my hometown “so that my grandmother could see me on TV. “
3 years later, after working as a camera operator at KAIT in Jonesboro Arkansas, and an anchor/reporter at both WBBJ in Jackson Tennessee and WEYI in Flint Michigan, I earned a part time job on the weekend team at KMOV in St. Louis.
On August 9, 2014 I began to cover the biggest story of my career to date.I called myself into work after I saw pictures on Instagram of a teen named Mike Brown. He was shot and killed by a police officer in my Ferguson neighborhood. I found his mother and shared her reaction on Instagram, and soon the national media was in town reporting on the death of her son. The story led to a civil rights movement in my hometown.
I moved to Jackson, Mississippi to work for WJTV as the Morning Anchor. Sadly I was terminated from my position after filing an EEOC complaint about how I was treated as a young black mother. After 20 months the EEOC issued me the right to sue Nexstar. One of the largest media companies in America.