Ashlye V. Wilkerson is a lover of education and advocate for life-long learning. As a certified early childhood and elementary educator, Ashlye formerly taught public kindergarten and first grade. After leaving the classroom, Ashlye taught education and leadership courses at Midlands Technical College, University of South Carolina-Columbia, University of South Carolina-Upstate, and Columbia College. Additionally, Ashlye serves as the youngest member of the Board of Trustees at Winthrop University. These combined experiences demonstrate her knowledge base and commitment to the field and will soon culminate in a PhD in Teaching and Learning.
Ashlye values her educational experiences which began at Saint John Preschool where she received a strong foundation. She continued through H.B. Rhame Elementary, Saint Andrews Middle School, Columbia High School (all Richland One Schools in Columbia, SC). She then matriculated to Winthrop University where she majored in Psychology and dual minored in Entrepreneurship and Early Childhood Education. Ashlye then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Hampton University.
Ashlye’s love for entrepreneurship and education successfully joined forces when she launched Ashlye’s Summer Enrichment program at the young age of 14. That program ran for three consecutive summers and served 15 students, included daily lessons in all core subjects, weekly field trips, three meals, and program themed shirts. Ashlye continues her entrepreneurial spirit as the franchise owner of Wine & Design Columbia and Co-Owner of AV3 Jewelry with her two young daughters by way of Paparazzi Independent Consultantship.
Ashlye is a published author of three early childhood books- Tori Finds Shapes All Around, Tori Finds Colors All Around, and Tori Explores South Carolina (adopted by the state of South Carolina, selected by former SC Governor Nikki Hailey, and honored by the SC General Assembly, City of Columbia City Council, and Richland School District One. These accomplishments were recognized with an “Ashlye V. & Tori Day” in the State of South Carolina in 2010 and “10 Years of Tori Day” in the State of South Carolina in 2017.
Ashlye’s guiding principles are that service is the rent we pay and to leave the world a better place from our being here. She lives those principles through community engagement with organizations such as Harvest Hope Food Bank, Transitions Homeless Recovery Center, Keep America Beautiful, March of Dimes, Rotary International, Junior League of Columbia, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Columbia Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, Columbia Branch of National Association of University Women, and as the founder of the Magic of Learning Foundation. She also serves in various leadership capacities such as on the Heyward Career and Technology Board, Friends of Richland Library Board, United Way of the Midlands Education Council, and Girl Scouts Troop Leader and Volunteer.
Ashlye is a graduate of the following professional development and leadership programs: United Way of the Midlands BluePrint for Leadership, South Carolina Education Policy, Columbia Chamber of Commerce Leadership Columbia, Columbia College LeaderShift, and Junior League of Columbia Voice Lessons and Leadership certificate programs.
Ashlye’s work is lauded by many, earning the following honors: Columbia Metropolitan Magazine’s Columbia’s Top Ten Young Professional, Columbia Business Monthly’s 35/35 Best and Brightest, Cambridge’s Who’s Who among Professional Women, South Carolina Black Pages Top 20/40, and The State Newspaper Top 20/40.
Ashlye is the proud and devoted wife of master teacher, trainer and author L. Kobie Wilkerson, III and mother of Alana (4), Ariah (1.5), and a fur baby (10). She seeks to pour love, nurture and care into her family and support their healthy relationships, growth and development. Imparting the values of learning and service, Ashlye engages her family in family learning adventures, service projects, and community engagement. She shares facets of her life through editorials for Palmetto Parent Magazine and on her blog at littlewifebiglife.com.
Ashlye was a cheerleader from age five through her senior year in high school. She is a natural encourager and love to see people, especially women, succeed at their highest potential and achieve their dreams. Through Phenomenal Women Leading, she seeks to empower, encourage, and uplift as well as spread two primary messages: “Empowered women, empower women” and “When women support each other, incredible things happen”.