Williams will be honored this summer amongst other honorees at NABJ's 36th Annual Convention and Career Fair, the largest gathering of minority journalists in the country.
"I feel truly, truly honored and blessed to be chosen for this prestigious award," said Williams, who double minors in International Relations and Spanish. "From the bottom of my heart I want to thank each committee member and NABJ for this great honor. This means so much to me, more than I can express. I hope and plan to continue to bring great prestige to NABJ and all African-American journalists. I am greatly dedicated to make positive changes within the world -especially within the minority community-- through journalism."
Williams is a senior at USC and her many internship experiences include People magazine and NBC's Dateline, Nightly News and Today Show. She served as president of Annenberg's Black Student Association, has participated in the Meredith-Cronkite Fellowship Program and frequently contributes to The Huffington Post.
She began her journalism career at age 14, when she hosted and produced her own show for her high school's news station regarding teen issues.
Among Williams' mentors are her parents, journalism professor Erna Smith, BBC Mundo's Marcia Facundo, and Dateline producers Jennifer Hoffman and Luz Villarreal.
"Ashley is one of the most committed, conscientious and multi-faceted students I've ever had the privilege to mentor," Smith said. "NABJ could not have picked a more worthy student journalist for this prestigious award."
NABJ's National Awards recognize top media organizations and professionals for their print, broadcast, and online journalism work in 2010. Awards will be bestowed to top writers, columnists, producers, reporters, photojournalists, and editors. Williams will be joined by other top honorees including the Miami Herald's Jacqueline Charles for Journalist of the Year, and NABJ Founder Acel Moore for Lifetime Achievement, as well as ESPN's Claire Smith for the organization's Legacy Award.
"NABJ is extremely proud to honor Ashley with this award," said Lisa Cox, NABJ's Region VI Director. "She is an incredible, impressive young lady with a proven passion for journalism. Her résumé speaks for itself. Ashley is destined for great things and every network news chief should take notice. She is certainly deserving of this honor."
NABJ's 36th Annual Convention and Career Fair will take place Aug 3-August 7 in Philadelphia, PA. For additional information, ticket sales, registration, please visit www.nabj.org.
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