Raven Johnson, a 16-year-old honor student attending Emerson High School, has exemplified leadership and discipline on and off the field, and now, she has the crown to take it another step further.
“Winning this title was so special to me because I worked so hard all the way up until the pageant to grow myself,” Johnson said.
The Frisco native was recently named Miss JuneteenthDFW 2023 and still manages to balance her school, sports and community endeavors.
Johnson credits much of her work ethic to her two parents who are both entrepreneurs. She especially attributes her mother for encouraging her to pursue the Miss JuneteenthDFW 2023 and for being her biggest inspiration, noting how her mother embodies “what it is to be a strong black woman.”
Johnson aspires to be like her mother, mentioning her mother’s success and the encouragement she gives her to push for anything she puts her mind to.
“She is really a big role model for me,” Johnson said. “She really helps me, directs me and guides me in the way my life goes. My mom is one of the most important people in my life.”
Johnson has been a gymnast for 10 years, but during the summer of her freshman year, she decided to focus on track and field along with varsity cheerleading. With a focus on pole vault and hurdles, Johnson earned her spot on the Academic All State Track & Field Team and her title of MVP for the Varsity Track & Field season of 2023.
Johnson describes gymnastics through her experience as a “discipline-driven sport,” which shows why she didn’t completely toss her gear and passion for it to the side.
She went back to Kurt Thomas Gymnastics, her old gym, and started coaching the kids there. Johnson is also involved with the gym’s program KT Achievers, gymnastics classes for special-needs children.
Johnson uses her drive and involvement in sports to develop in the pageant world, especially with going the extra mile to ensure insightful development and personal success.
“You can’t just show up to the practice, go home, go to the next practice, go home, like you need to take the extra steps outside of what the coach is asking you to do,” Johnson said. “So that has really taught me also how to be a better person and how to go the extra mile.”
Along with sports, Johnson values forms of community involvement like her volunteer work with the nursing home near her school.
Johnson also created her organization It Girls Nation, which focuses on giving some tips and tricks on how to navigate the world being a teenage girl and how to love your natural self.
The organization’s mission revolves around making sure young girls realize they are “wonderfully made” while positively empowering them in an inclusive community.
People describe Johnson as energetic, loving and hardworking with the smile she regularly has on her face and her positive outlook on life. Johnson values faith greatly and has used her relationship with Good and the community around her to help her, even in the negative times with criticisms and those that want to see her fail.
“It gets really hard when you’re doing all these things, and people don’t want to see you succeed,” Johnson said. “Being the bubbly person I am, I try to see the positive sides of things and try to combat the negative things. Praying about things, talking to my mom and talking to my closest friends really has shaped me to be the person I am today.”
Johnson earned her title of Miss JuneteenthDFW 2023 on June 3 and is actively working for the National Miss Juneteenth USA crown. Along with being crowned by Miss Black Texas USA, 2023 Aryana Bosh, Johnson’s most memorable moment in this pageant journey was building a sisterhood with her fellow pageant girls by walking in their heels during one of their practices as they listened to their favorite songs. Johnson said the girls were not only relaxed during a stressful time but were also having fun together.
Johnson sees herself working in the sports management field in the future, helping athletes with negotiations and contracts to get rewarded what they deserve.
To contribute to her National Pageant Competition Fund, click here. Johnsonson will be hosting the Brunch and Greet on Sept. 10 at Jambox Dallas. For more details on the event and to RSVP, click here.