Jillian Leigh Tate is a senior communications student at State with hopes of graduating in December. The formerly home-schooled student not only attends class full time, but she also works a full-time job and serves as the vice president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Tate was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia. Her parents, Steve and Katie Tate, have two other children, Summer and Kaylee Tate. Jillian and her sisters were homeschooled. After graduating from high school, she attended BridgeValley Community and Technical College a couple years before attending State.
“I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by being homeschooled,” Tate said. “All of the homeschooled students in Charleston would meet up every couple of weeks and do different activities together. I even went to prom when I was in high school, so I really just felt like a normal student. If anything, the public school students were the ones missing out.”
Tate said high school graduation as a homeschooled student is really what your family makes of it.
“You can just take your diploma and move on, but my mom, along with a group of other homeschool moms, organized a small graduation ceremony for each of us at our church.”
State is where Tate found her passion for public relations and worked her way up to being vice president of the student-led organization, PRSSA.
“The PRSSA is like a little family to me now. We may disagree every now and then, but at the end of the day we work hard and achieve our goals together. We actually just got back from our national conference, where we networked with other PRSSA groups and attended different workshops,” she said. “It was a great experience, and I really feel like I learned a lot that will help me after graduation.”
Tate is currently finishing her internship, which allows her to do public relations for an insurance company. She said she helped redesign the company logo and designed the layout for its new website.
Tate said she is eager to graduate at the end of the fall semester and start her PR career locally.