Doni Holloway: humble and wildly successful
By Choe Gruesbeck
At 17, Doni Holloway is one of the youngest employees at NBC News, has an associate’s degree and is fierce and humble about his accomplishments.
Holloway attended an early college program where he went to high school while earning his associate’s degree of art Magna Cum Laude, often working through the summer to complete his classes.
After his graduation, Holloway moved to Washington, D.C. for a hard-won paid internship at NBC News.
Holloway learned about the internship through the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media. The foundation has a rigorous application process that includes multiple essays and interviews, one of which includes the vice president of NBC News on Skype.The foundation matched him with NBC, while other corporate sponsors are available. Some include NBC, ABC and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
While many young boys look up to sports athletes, Holloway’s role models include Hoda Kotb and Candy Crowley, both major news anchors. During his internship at NBC News Holloway met Lester Holt, who anchors the weekday edition of NBC Nightly News.
“He was so humble and grateful, and he came in at such a transitional time for NBC News,” Holloway said. “It shows a lot about him as a person to step up and fulfill the role as the first black solo anchor of a nightly news program. I just wanted to congratulate him and share some of my goals and tell him I wanted to be just like him one day.”
As the lead anchor of a network broadcast, Holloway hopes to emulate Holt’s signature reporting style.
“He is a person who everyone can easily connect with,” Holloway said. “If he is talking to someone impacted by a natural disaster or some other event, he will just wrap his arms around them and show that he genuinely cares.”
While some might describe his internship as his most impressive achievement, Holloway actually found teaching a preparatory class to help struggling students the most rewarding.
“It was really gratifying to take the things I have learned and pass it on to help someone who may have not gotten that help at home,” Holloway said. “Not everyone has had the opportunity to have these experiences, and I just want to pay-it-forward, in a way.”
While Holloway acknowledges that he has had a heavy workload during his high school career, he says that he “wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“I don’t regret anything but there has definitely been some sacrifices I have had to make like staying up late,’” Holloway said. “I certainly had to stay focused.”
Holloway will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall and expects to major in journalism.