The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Local news anchor tells story of overcoming trials

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

NBC 5 news anchor Deborah Ferguson shared her story of overcoming obstacles, revealing tips on success, confidence and networking to SE students Sept. 21.

“Hi, I’m Deborah, who are you?”

Ferguson introduced herself while walking the aisles and shaking hands. She told students not to be afraid to step up and introduce themselves in a crowd.

“Learn who you are,” she said.

Ferguson said she knew she wanted to be a storyteller on TV when she was 11 years old, but the only people she saw reporting the news were white men.

“That’s who delivered the news back in the day,” she said.

One day, she said she saw a woman of color who looked just like her mother reporting the news on TV. She knew then that was her destiny.

Ferguson’s family received government assistance when she was a little girl, and she said she wondered how she would achieve her dream from where she was.

Deborah Ferguson discusses her financial struggles as a college student during a seminar on SE Campus Sept. 21. Ferguson quit her job at Target to work at WBAP for less money. During the seminar, Ferguson told students to create their own success. Photo by Karen Gavis /The Collegian
Deborah Ferguson discusses her financial struggles as a college student during a seminar on SE Campus Sept. 21. Ferguson quit her job at Target to work at WBAP for less money. During the seminar, Ferguson told students to create their own success. Photo by Karen Gavis /The Collegian

She said she did it by sharing her goal with enough people and through financial aid and scholarships.

During college, Ferguson said she realized she could not just sit in her dorm and cry to her mom. She had to ask for help, so she went to her teachers.

“She who does not ask does not get help,” she said. “I had to reach out.”

Ferguson said she also had to learn how to have fun and network — even with people who did not have any idea what it was like to pay for groceries with food stamps.

“Everybody you meet is a potential source for something,” she said.

Ferguson said sometimes a person must go backward to go forward.

While employed at Target, she quit her job to go to work at WBAP for less pay.

“But man, I was in a newsroom,” she said.

Later, Channel 5 news contacted her, and she was hired in January 1991. Once in the door, she said she realized people there were older than she and knew more than she. Again, she asked for help.

“When you are out there, you hear a lot of ‘no’s,’” she said.

“When you don’t try, you tell yourself ‘no.’”

Event coordinator Renetta Wright said she hoped the lecture showed students that “regardless of their background and their challenges that they too could create their own success.”

SE student Lucy Flores said Ferguson was entertaining, had great points and interacted with the crowd.

“She is very relatable,” Flores said.

Ferguson told students they were in the right place.

“That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it,” she said in closing before signing autographs.

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