Ferndale honor student using shoes' stories to inspire others

Ferndale High School senior Raven Brinkley's schedule is extremely hectic, but she still finds time to lift up her peers and push them toward success. 

"My main message would be to not allow any struggle that you may have, or any misfortune, stop you from being whatever you dream or want to be. Use it as motivation," she says. 

Last year, the 17-year-old started a website called Save a Teen's Dream, and followed it up with the Step Up to Success Shoe Gallery in the her high school's library. 

The shoes tell the stories of amazing people whose paths to the top haven't always been a walk in the park. 

"It's like figuratively walking in someone's shoes, because you have their shoes and their story, even though they had a struggle they're still successful," says Raven. 

What's behind the young student's desire to motivate other young people to persevere regardless of their circumstances? Raven grew up without a father. 

"Parents are the best example, and when you don't have one in your life it can be a great devastation, but with her initiative it helps to see that this person can still succeed against all odds," says Raven's mother, Heidi Brinkley. 

FOX 2 cameras were rolling when Detroit Police Officer and Olympic gold medalist Darnell Hall stopped by Raven's school to donate a pair of sneakers near and dear to his heart. 

"I actually gave Raven - with honors - the pair of shoes, my spikes, I wore in '95 when I won my first world title in Barcelona, Spain. I wore those shoes one time," says Hall. 

His spikes join kicks from the likes of Tom Izzo, John Conyers, and Amy's Angels Alumnus Connor Bint. He is a local high school student with stage four brain cancer who organized the largest toy drive in CS Mott Children's Hospital history.  

While Raven says she's extremely grateful and honored to have received shoes from so many inspiring people, she's had her sights set on a pair of presidential proportions for quite some time. 

Raven's family's hoping you will help the teen get her message to the White House through social media. All she needs is a pair of the president's shoes to display in her gallery. 

You can contact President Barack Obama via the methods listed below: 

Call the President
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Email: president@whitehouse.gov

Online: www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

Barack Obama on Facebook
The White House on Facebook


On social media, use the hashtag #SaveATeensDream.  

Online: http://saveateensdream.com/

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