Ashailyn Gleaton earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications degree from South Carolina State University in 2018. Throughout her life, she has known that she wanted to work in the broadcasting industry. Her passion for journalism started at an early age in her hometown of Orangeburg, S.C., where she read stories that filled the pages of The Times and Democrat newspaper. Hailing from a family who has always prioritized staying informed, Gleaton's path to storytelling and gathering information was clear from the beginning.
"I've always been nosy and wanting to know what's going on, so I just kind of fit the criteria. Being informed about a wide range of topics has always been a staple for me," Gleaton said.
Although she was gaining experience in the broadcasting field as a recent graduate, Gleaton's mother, S.C. State alumna, Karen Crum, suggested that Gleaton should apply for jobs outside of South Carolina to boost her career.
Gleaton decided to take the leap, and after several weeks of waiting for a response, she finally received the opportunity to elevate her passion and was hired as a news assistant at CNN in Atlanta, Ga. She will assist show teams as they deliver their programs on the air. While working as a news assistant, she will train for a year to prepare for additional career advancement within CNN.
Prior to joining CNN, Gleaton worked at Live 5 News in Charleston, assisting with production operations.
During her tenure at S.C. State, she served in various campus organizations, including the Communications Club, National Society of Leadership and Success and Student Media. She also served as a Student Orientation Leader, an intern for the university's football team and is currently a member of the Lambda Xi chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.
She affirmed that S.C. State provided her with a foundation to succeed in broadcasting.
"My professors gave me a one-on-one experience and pushed me to do more. Mr. Gil Harris didn't accept any excuses, and Ms. Tywanna Pryor always gave me great advice. She still does to this day," she said.
Gleaton's peers, many of whom are entrepreneurs, have inspired her to persevere with her passion and "break out of her shell." Her advice to current students who wish to succeed in the broadcasting industry is to "take production seriously, work behind the scenes and learn all you can." She emphasized the importance of persistence and sacrifice in reaching long-term goals.
"It took me a little longer to finish college. Don't give up, even if it takes you six years or 10 years. You just never know what could happen," she said.
Her mother and brother, Antron Williams, are her greatest inspiration, as they have provided guidance throughout her journalistic journey and life.
In addition to broadcasting, the former Bulldog's future career goals include producing high-quality digital content for social media. She expressed her determination to uphold Bulldog pride and HBCU pride in every endeavor she undertakes.
"A lot of HBCU graduates are doing great things in film, behind the scenes and beyond. I'm grateful for having the chance to add my voice and experiences to such a powerful era for African American creators. I'm proud to be an HBCU grad."