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Published on September 29th, 2017 | by Valerie Victor


New Show: Aspire TV brings HBCU Graduates the Spotlight


Aspire Television’s web series “The Graduates” moves south to Atlanta, GA. The new series will air during coverage of the network’s HBCU football games beginning September 30th, 2017. Aspire (@tvASPiRE), the network that reflects, shares and celebrates the experiences of black culture and urban lifestyle, is excited about the new cast and all star content. The eight-part series will launch Saturday, September 30, during halftime of the Miles College vs. Albany State University game at 6 p.m. ET. Webisodes will be available on the same day they premiere on air.

Moving south from New York City, “The Graduates ATL,” is a web series that follows six driven HBCU graduates as they pursue their passions and build their careers in Atlanta. In this season, we will see how these aspiring moguls, entrepreneurs and executives, adjust to life in the real world – in their jobs, friendships and relationships – as they try to stay true to and achieve their dreams in various competitive industries.

“HBCUs are a fabric of black culture and the cornerstone of black history. We are proud to share the experiences and lives of HBCU graduates in another metropolitan city,” said Melissa Ingram, vice president, channel manager, Aspire. “Building on the success of ‘The Graduates NYC’, we are excited to introduce our viewers to an Atlanta cast made up of big personalities and diverse voices that are all making their mark on the city with their unique stories.”

“The Graduates ATL” is produced by Crazy Legs Productions. Executive producers are Tom Cappello, Alana Goldstein, Keely Walker Muse and Randolph Sturrup. Keith Thomas serves as producer. The series was created by Randolph Sturrup and Keith Brown.


Meet the Cast 

Ashley Maltbia (28), a Howard University grad, currently owns a business that has recognition in all 50 states and is growing exponentially. Giving back to the community is just as important to her as her business, so teaching young black women how to franchise is her greatest passion. Ashley’s is the CEO and Founder of The Maverick Firm-Insurance & Financial services. Ashley’s goal is to expand her business ownership into technology industries. For more information on Ashley or The Maverick Firm, visit . Keep up with Ashley by following her on Instagram @ceomaltbia

Herberto “Berto” Horne (24), a Morehouse College grad, has a luxury lifestyle brand, TP Gent (The Perfect Gentleman), that educates men and women on becoming the modern gentleman and lady. Between being a brand influencer and public speaker, Berto’s goal is to improve the lives of black men across the globe. For more information on Berto, or to learn more about his brand, visit or follow him on Instagram @tpgent.

Jaaion Barnes (32), a Grambling State University grad, is a chef to the stars and has been an executive chef at two popular Atlanta restaurants. His unique twist on southern staples like chicken and waffles are becoming fast favorites of the ‘Who’s Who’ in Atlanta’s celebrity scene. For more information on Jaaion  or to schedule a chef consultation, follow him on Instagram @chefjaaion

Jarrett Arrington (29), a Morehouse grad, is in commodities procurement. As a gay black man in an interracial relationship, Jarrett shatters convention and stereotypes about businessmen in the ATL. His hard work landed him on Wall Street, where he realized that a balanced life was more important than being a successful Manhattanite. Jarrett plans on being a senior executive in commodities in the near future. For more information on Jarrett follow him on Instagram @_Jurrd

Mia “Mimi” Johnson (32), a Clark Atlanta University grad, is a makeup artist to the stars. Mimi has become a fixture on film sets, television shows and live events in Atlanta. The Glamatory, her boutique makeup salon and retail store, is geared toward the sophisticated, upscale woman. For more information on MiMi or to book your beauty appointment at The Glamatory visit  and be sure to follow her on Instagram @MimiJonline

Niya Skyy (24), a Clark Atlanta University grad, is the creator of popular entertainment blog Skyy Level Media. More so, right after graduating college, she launched her own PR and branding firm, Skyy Communications. Niya Skyy has launched successful campaigns for many of Atlanta’s most elite. From professional basketball players and movie stars, to red carpet galas and million dollar fundraisers, Niya Skyy has a flair for the fabulous. For more information on Niya Skyy or her Media & Public Relations company, visit her websites, and You can keep up with Niya by following her on Instagram @niya_skyy.

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