Whitney Wiggins attended Laurel High School for a year and then enrolled in the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington.
But after two years at Ellington she headed for the small central Virginia town of Lynchburg. That move helped propel her to a career in New York City.
As a senior at E.C. Glass High, a public school in Lynchburg, she enrolled in the Virginia School for the Arts on a partial scholarship. She was a long way from home and did not know anyone when she headed to Virginia.
"You are far away from your family, living in a house with a bunch of girls from all over," said Wiggins. "Maryland is more fast-paced. Lynchburg is a lot...