Big Dreams Feat. Ashley Holder
Doing a feature post is something that I’ve wanted to do for awhile now and I couldn’t be more excited to present to you someone who is determined, fearless, and has the type of attitude you need for Big Dreams. I first met Ashley when I was in high school and she was in middle school, and although I was a little bit older than her I could tell she had a personality just like mine. She worked hard, was kind of goofy, loved to have fun and laugh, and could light up any room she was in with her smile. I gotta say at a young age she had great taste in men since, ironically, I ended up being her first big crush! Umm, about that…and these are her words not mine, “my first rejection was Marques Parks and that helped me going forward in those tough situations!” Haha well almost 15 years later (ugh…excuse me as I barf), Ashley has moved on from my thick eyebrows and I’ve had the chance to witness the growth of her career via social media. Personally, I think she is still the exact same amazing person!
I hope my interview with her shows you firsthand an individual who has gone after exactly what she wanted, faced adversity head on, embraced the ups-and-downs and stayed the course. It’s hard to sum up what Ashley has accomplished over these last few years, but I’ll steal words from the late, great Stuart Scott, “The girl’s got it goin’ on!” The only blemish on Ashley’s résumé (in my biased eyes) is that her diploma does not read South Fayette High School! She moved to North Carolina to finish out her last two years of high school, where she dominated the classroom and the court and accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Maryville College. After 3 years of being the big fish in a small pond she transferred to the University of Tennessee and graduated with a degree in Journalism & Electronic Media.
While Ashley never took her talents to South Beach, moves to New York, Atlanta, North Carolina, Missouri, and Oregon have led her to her current place of residence back in North Carolina as the Sports Anchor for Charlotte’s CW. She’s had the chance to work with the biggest names in sports and entertainment, covering the biggest games for the best networks. NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA Football, and even Nascar, you name it, she’s done it. But I think if you ask her, she would say her greatest achievement is being the first person featured on Absolute Power’s Big Dreams! (Don’t ever ask her that question if you see her, though, she's a super busy person!)
I hope you enjoy this interview, and if you would like to see me do more things like this in the future please leave a comment below.
If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
"This is always a hard question. You think you know who it would it be but then you get asked the question and a million people pop up in your head. I would have to say Barack Obama. He’s the first African American President, has such a grounded family, has led this country for 8 years, plus I can talk sports with him and the man knows good music! There’s endless amount of topics you could discuss with and have a great time while doing it."
What is your favorite meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), and your favorite food from that meal?
Ah. That’s so hard because some days it’s breakfast, then it’s dinner. I would have to say dinner. I absolutely love to eat and dinner is my weakness. Pasta is my favorite. I love all kinds of pasta and everything that comes with it.
If you could get rid of any one state, which would it be and why?
Probably Hawaii or Alaska because it seems like they operate on their own anyway. I always forget I don’t need my passport for either one (embarrassing moment, lol).
What job have you done that you were just awful at, and how long did you do it for?
That’s a hard question because all the jobs I have had, I was pretty good at. I’ve been a hostess at a restaurant, sales associate at Champs and Target. I even once worked at a retirement home feeding the elderly. Those were all jobs in high school and college but I can’t say I was bad at any of them. They all allowed me to work and be surrounded by different kinds of people and that’s why I chose them. They also helped me adapt to people of all different ages and different backgrounds. I don’t think I would sign up for a job I am bad at, lol.
What is a weakness that you overcame, and how did you do it?
Confidence. There were a lot of times I lost confidence because maybe I lost out on a job, or someone else who didn’t have my background was ahead of me. It’s natural for us to always question why this and why that. For me, I’ve learned I have to be confident in my talents because if you don’t believe in yourself then no one else will. No one can believe in you more than yourself.
What sacrifices have you made that were a challenge but you knew they were necessary?
I have given up living near my family, given up a serious relationship, and hanging out with friends amongst other things. That’s pretty hard to do in your mid-twenties because you see your friends enjoying their lives and you want that as well. But for me, I've been grinding since graduation. I've moved four times already and the relocation was always for a new job. Sometimes you think about having a family, getting married, shoot maybe just hitting the pool with your friends on a Saturday but then your schedule says nope! It’s always tough when you feel you’re missing out on something.
You’re great at your job, you have a huge social media following, and you still know how to have fun and relax. How do you balance all of your responsibilities?
Balance is something I had to learn fairly quickly in this business. When you’re at practice one day, a game the next, or attending a press conference this day, it all catches up to you. Being an athlete throughout my entire school career helped with “balance.” I’ve always been able to schedule and divide my time wisely. Being a sports reporter/anchor is fun but you always have to make sure you leave time for yourself and really enjoy the moment. This business can be very political and is extremely hard for a woman of color but when you learn to maneuver through that then it’s very rewarding. It’s not easy to cover multiple teams and travel constantly but my job is to go to sports events and talk about what’s happening in the middle of the action, can’t complain about that.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud that I haven’t given up. There’s been people who have told me I couldn’t get to where I am today or that have prayed on my downfall and still do. Shoot, there’s times I even question if I can keep climbing the ladder because something goes wrong, I don’t get a job I want or something of that nature. I haven’t had an easy path to get to where I am today at all. I’ve gone through happy days and nights where I've cried my eyes out wondering if this industry is for me. But God has always kept me on my path no matter what and all my trials and tribulations are building my testimony.