How Mentors, Role Models, and Internships Make the Difference

By Elyse Coulter, Morning News Anchor at ABC 22/Fox 45 and PRSA’s 2019 Media Friend of the Year

Winning PRSA’s 2019 Media Friend of the Year is such an honor. And honestly, very humbling. My first reaction when I was told, was “I was just doing my job.” It’s not recognition I ever thought I’d receive, and certainly never expected. I just did what I needed to do and worked with some amazing people who taught me to put my head down, do the best job I can, but most importantly stay humble and true to myself. I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without the guidance of so many people from different places.

My mom is really the person who has motivated me and cheered me on my whole life. I lost my dad at age 14 and my parents divorced when I was 3. She was a single mother taking care of two kids working at least three jobs and put herself full time through nursing school. She had high expectations for me even as a kid. Get good grades, stay in school, go to college and live my dreams. She gave me some tough love, and I couldn’t be happier that she did.

I once asked her, “Why are you so much harder on me than my brothers?” Her reply was simple, “Because life isn’t fair and it’s harder for a woman in the real world than it is a man.”

She taught me to work hard, be passionate, stay motivated but most of all, be determined to reach my goals. She always told me I can do and be anything. And man, she was right.

My biggest advice for people looking to do what I’m doing is don’t be afraid to take chances. Don’t be afraid to fail. I’ve failed. I’ve made mistakes. The best thing you can do is pick yourself up off the ground, dust yourself off and keep moving. Dwelling on things that didn’t happen or that you may have done wrong does nothing. It’s learning from them and having the courage to get up, that makes all the difference.

Also, internships, internships, INTERNSHIPS. I learned everything I know now by taking internships and asking questions. Don’t ever be afraid to get your hands dirty.

I get asked all the time what’s my favorite story, do I have one I remember the most? The ones I remember, are the ones filled with emotion. That emotion can invoke something in someone else and can inspire them to do something. That something can be to lend a helping hand, to donate time or money, to pay it forward the next day, or to simply hug their kids a little tighter. I hope that my role at ABC 22/Fox 45 inspired the people in our community to act nicer to one another, to appreciate the little things and to just be better, kinder people.

The future of this industry lies in the upcoming reporters, photographers, and anchors. I wouldn’t be where I am today or know what I know today if coworkers didn’t take me aside and teach me. I plan to continue to do just that. I will help anyone and everyone who is willing to listen and learn. Teaching the younger generation of journalists is how I plan and hope to improve this industry. It’s not about the “gotcha moment.” It’s about connecting the viewer to an emotion, a feeling and inspiring them, not telling them, to do something about it.

Elyse Coulter grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and traveled south to Columbus, where she studied Journalism at The Ohio State University. She found her passion for news at WSYX/WTTE in Columbus, Ohio as a part-time writer, videographer, and reporter. Elyse comes to the Miami Valley from Winchester, VA where she was the morning anchor and reporter. Now You can see Elyse Monday through Friday 4:27 am - 7:00 am on ABC 22, and over on Fox 45 from 7:00 am - 9:00 am. If you ever see her out and about Dayton, don't hesitate to say hello!


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