January 4, 2022

Student Influencer Raven Heyward Uses Her Mic For Good to Spread Awareness on DE&I

One of the Seven Social Standards that The Social Institute believes in is: Finding Your Influencers. This means surrounding yourself with positive role models who support you and encourage you to play to your core. To help students find these positive and credible influences, we began our Student Influencer Program. Each week we select a different student to take over our Instagram and highlight how they act as a positive influence and inspiration in their communities.

This week, we are excited to introduce Raven Heyward. Raven is a senior at Enloe Magnet High School and the founder of the DiversifyHER podcast. She took her passion for talking about DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) related topics to create her podcast to lead, mentor, and inspire students around her. Raven interviews leaders in her community and sparks conversation on how to increase representation to create more equitable environments. She is grateful for all the opportunities her podcast has provided her. She has been featured in the local news, collected donations for her community service projects, and is attending an upcoming event with Indi Felder this year. Additionally, Raven is a student ambassador for her school’s equity team and student council. During her junior year of high school, she conducted a research paper based on women of color in Corporate America. In the report she highlighted the experiences of these women in North Carolina. Raven is passionate about increasing the representation of minorities in the workplace and will continue to do so throughout her senior year and beyond. 

Raven Heyward

Recently, we interviewed Raven to learn more about her and how social media impacts her life. Here’s what she had to say:

What do you value about yourself or others?

Raven: I value my passion. When I’m truly passionate about something I will ensure I do everything in my power to accomplish my goal.

What are your personal goals?

Raven: My personal goal is to make a positive impact with anything I do. Whether it’s big or small- I like to know that I’ve been helpful and helped shine a brighter light  in some kind of way.

How have you felt since returning to in-person school?

Raven: This fall I will be a freshman in college. As of the moment, I don’t know which school I will be attending, but I’m excited to make new memories and take my next step in my academic journey. I’m sure I’ll be nervous going into the year, but I’m excited!

 What are the things you try to accomplish each day?

Raven: Each day I try to accomplish working on building a better version of myself. It can be drinking more water, working out, or reading a daily devotional. Or just making someone smile. But each day I aim to accomplish inner peace and make a positive impact.

What or who inspires you most?

Raven: My family inspires me the most. They’ve always been supportive of me and taught me the importance of valuing my education and treating others with respect. With everything I do, I want to make them proud.  At the end of the day, I know that I have their support and guidance no matter what.

How has social media acted as a positive influence on your life?

Raven: Having social media has helped me to reach out and network with others. It’s also been a way for me to promote my podcast and get a larger audience. Of course social media has its cons, but I feel that as long as you manage your feed well and do the best to not interact with negative feeds, social media is an extremely useful tool!

Of our Seven Social standards, which one do you most resonate with and why?

Raven: Use Your Mic for Good. I created my podcast to highlight issues I felt were important to talk about with leaders about DEI and to also become a platform for Gen Z to listen or converse and share advice about personal experiences. I feel that by creating my platform I’ve allowed my guests to use their mics for good and celebrate their voices. Authentic leadership thrives with a growth mindset. I am fortunate to have been exposed to many different ideas and perspectives on controversial conversations, and I am always keen to hear everyone’s thoughts. I will continue to seek first to understand, then to be understood. The road to successful leadership is paved with solid concrete in the humility of serving others.

If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give to him about navigating social media or social relationships?

Raven: I would tell myself to make sure that with every post I make to consider how it could impact someone else. Whatever content we put out makes an impact, and it’s important that the impact is positive because there is too much hate in our world. 

We are so excited to have Raven as a part of the Student Influencer Program. Raven is the perfect example of using social media to grow, learn, and broaden our horizons. We are eager to watch Raven continue to lead and make meaningful impacts on her community.  If you know a student who is accomplishing great things, we want to highlight them! We love sharing impressive students with the world. Contact us here.

About The Social Institute

The Social Institute partners with schools nationwide to empower students, families, and educators to positively navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology. Schools access our student-respected, turnkey curriculum through WinAtSocial.com, an interactive, gamified learning platform. With solutions for students, parents, and educators, we offer a systemic and comprehensive SEL program through a unique and positive approach. We are proud to serve public and independent partners such as Ravenscroft School, Woodward Academy, Oldfields School, All Saints Episcopal School, Lake Forest School District, Boston Public Schools, and more. For more information on how to empower your students to make high-character decisions online and off, please contact us.