Alumni Profile: Derrick and Jessica (Piggee) Hamilton, Class of 2009

Derrick and Jessica (Piggee) Hamilton

When did you graduate, and what was your major?
Derrick: December 2009 with a Bachelors in Business Administration.
Jessica: May 2009 in General Studies with emphasis in Education and Sociology Spring; I went on to receive my Masters in Early Childhood Education at UAM in May 2013, and my Masters in Counselor Education at UALR in May 2019.

Why did you choose Henderson?
Derrick: Because Jessica went to Henderson and while I visited I grew close to the culture and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in which it felt like a family.
Jessica: My dad (Edgar Piggee, '77) was a Henderson Alumnus, and I grew up knowing how warming the community and culture always was when we visited. When I first visited as an interested student, I immediately felt like I was home.

Who were your best friends while attending Henderson, and are you still friends with them today?
Derrick: Andrew McDaniel, Gabriel Green, Brandon Thurston, Eddie Taylor and many more; we still communicate to this day.
Jessica: Lots of hometown friends, and also friends from my organization Delta Sigma Theta that were made. We are all friends and communicate on a regular basis.

Who were your favorite professors?
Derrick: Dr. Nathan Campbell and Dr. Jesse Leyva
Jessica: My band director, Mr. David Rollins, and Mrs. Eula Thomas

What is your current occupation?
Both: We are Owners and CEOs of Mobile Video Game Station and Teddy Bear Mobile out of Little Rock, and Jessica is also a teacher in the Little Rock School District.

How did Henderson prepare you for your career?
Derrick: Henderson showed me how to be a leader amongst many team members. My communication courses prepared me to communicate effectively as the executive of logistics in many Target stores. Also the TRIO program showed me how to manage talent that makes me successful in my entrepreneurship journey now.
Jessica: Henderson gave me the tools to successfully mold my compassion and drive to help others in need. Even though I didn’t graduate from Henderson with an education degree, I gained most of my knowledge and skills from the education program when enrolled. Also I learned how to work with and become well rounded with different types of people with different backgrounds.

What is your favorite memory of Henderson?
Derrick: The first day of Henderson when we got in the shape of a heart. That was the moment when I realized I was a part of a loving school family and they would be there to support me to complete my journey.
Jessica: My favorite memories were when I saw all of the Greek organizations working together to give back to the community a piece of Henderson State. The Iota Delta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. gave me many of my education, spiritul, and social memories.

When’s the last time you have been on the Henderson campus?
Derrick: I visited just earlier this month for the HSU-NPHC Black History month Community Fair.
Jessica: I was back on campus for Homecoming 2019.

What other job do you think you’d be really good at?
Derrick: Mentorship and motivational speaking
Jessica: Child welfare advocate

How do you relax after a hard day?
Derrick: I like to come home and think of ways to give back to the community.
Jessica: I like to spend time with my family.

Who do you admire the most, and why?
Derrick: My wife, because she has patience, self-driven, motivated, a wonderful wife and mother, and she continues to grow each and every day.
Jessica: My husband. He is a very goal oriented and self-motivated person that doesn’t let anything get in his way. He shows me how to push through anything that I put my mind to and never give up.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Both: Jump, Faith is the key to your destiny, because the choices you make determine your destiny.

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
Derrick: Waiting too long and allowing distractions stop me from following my dreams.
Jessica: To let fear get in the way of making decisions.

What are three interesting facts about you?
Derrick: I love to be the center of attention; I love entertaining all ages of children; I love being adventurous with my family.
Jessica: I am shy but a social person all at the same time; I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was five years old, and I also love adventurous experiences with my family.

If your life was a book, what would its title be?
Derrick: I Started from the Bottom.
Jessica: The Other Side of the Mountain.

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?
Derrick: Focus on you first.
Jessica: Follow your heart, and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way.