Now the Durant High School graduate is plying her trade in the bright lights and big city of Chicago, Illinois.
Allen is anchoring a show in the Chicago area called “Evanston Today Live” which is featured on cable television and on its own Web site, www.evanstononline.com.
She got the job after she and her husband had moved to the area and she began looking for work.
Allen had to post a demo reel and a video describing her and why she thought she deserved the host position and then had to wait for viewers to vote on the winner.
“There were originally 30 people that applied,” Allen said. “They narrowed that down to four and I was fortunate enough to be picked out of those four.”
The company she works for is a start-up, with this show being the first of its kind. It is considered hyperlocal television and focuses solely on the town of Evanston.
“The company plans on offering franchises to other cities and towns in Illinois and then nationwide,” Allen said.
“I am so excited to be here in Chicago doing what I love ... news,” Allen said.
Allen is a Durant native who discovered her love for broadcasting at Durant High School, where she anchored “Today at Durant High School” her senior year.
“After anchoring at my high school channel, I knew this was my calling,” Allen said.
From there Allen went to Baylor University, where she majored in communications and graduated in only three years, taking an average of 22 hours a semester and finishing with a 3.25 GPA.
During her time at the school in Waco, Texas, she did a show at the university called the “State Farm Women’s Baylor Update”, interned at “Good Morning, Texas” and also interned in New York City for “Good Morning America.”
She was in New York City from January to June of ‘07, and got the internship out of approximately 1,000 applicants from all over the country.
“While I was there I worked with the audience, worked in the Field and Series unit and was featured on-air in a workout segment with Diane Sawyer,” Allen said.
“It was awesome. I had a blast and it reaffirmed that I was in the right field.”
After graduating from Baylor, she returned to Texoma to work at KTEN, where she anchored the morning show, “KTEN News Today” from 5-7 a.m.
“I enjoyed my time at KTEN,” she said. “The cool thing was that I knew how to pronounce names of towns like Bokchito,” she said. “That gave me a big advantage. It was also nice because I was from Durant and I was reporting on my hometown. It was like I was reporting for my family.”
While she enjoys the city life, Allen still misses her hometown, friends and family.
“I miss the simple pleasures of Durant,” Allen said. “Albert Curtis always shined my wedding ring the best and I miss Salita’s salsa, and of course I miss my family, my parents Polly and Greg Wilson of Kingston, Lane Grant of Satellite Beach, Fla. and grandparents, Albert and Carolyn Reynolds of Durant.”
“My parents have been my biggest cheerleader,” she said. “They saw the possibilities for me and where I could go.”