Amazing Women of ABC 7: Hayley Wielgus

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SARASOTA - We have amazing women at ABC 7 and we're highlighting some of them this month. Last week we brought you Linda Carson's story. Now we bring you another one: Good Morning Suncoast anchor Hayley Wielgus.

I'm a true Texas girl, born in Beaumont and spent most of my childhood growing up in Sugar Land, a suburb of Houston. It at a young age I decided I wanted to be a journalist. I got a Fisher-Price tape recorder for Christmas, and as my mom says, I've been interviewing people ever since.

One word to describe myself is committed. I started dancing in preschool and stuck with it, as I did with competitive swimming. Over the years, I've racked up medals, varsity letters and memories that will last a lifetime.

As will the memories I made at Texas A&M University. It was always my dream to be an Aggie. During my college years, I studied abroad in Spain, and I was an executive officer in my sorority. That's where I met three of my best friends, affectionately known as the Fab Four. Together we’ve celebrated life's major milestones.

In 2006 I left the Lone Star State and headed to the Windy City to attend graduate school at Northwestern University’s Madill School of Journalism to achieve yet another life-long dream.

That led me to Washington DC, where I worked at Bloomberg Television in 2008 during the financial crisis and the presidential primary elections.

Then I headed back home to Texas for my first on-air job as a reporter and anchor in Tyler.

Three years later, I signed on the air at ABC 7. I did all of this through the love and support of my amazing family, who have always been by my side encouraging me.

These days, a 2:15am wake-up puts free time at a premium. But I'm still a fitness fanatic, training for the Sarasota Half Marathon in March. And this affectionate ball of energy is a great running partner. My rescue rat terrier Mattie is one of the loves of my life.

I'm also passionate about serving the Suncoast community through the volunteer work that I do with several organizations, including the Junior League of Sarasota, Designing Daughters, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.

I'm also a certified Special Olympics aquatics coach. The organization gives children and adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to build their courage, confidence, and physical fitness by participating in competitive sports. Working with these amazing swimmers is truly one of my greatest joys.

Much of my story has yet to be written. I can only imagine where life and my career will take me.