From “The Hood” to University Valedictorian to Corporate Executive


Raven Solomon is an entrepreneur, keynote inspirational speaker, and the President & Founder of the Center for Next Generation Leadership & Professional Development, a Charlotte-based training & development startup focused on providing soft skill development to the future of the workplace—Millennials & Generation Z. The Center helps corporations develop, attract and retain the two generations, while also partnering with universities to accelerate the corporate readiness of it’s students prior to graduation.  

A proud graduate of North Carolina State University, Raven earned one of the highest academic achievements possible— graduating Valedictorian of her class of over 8000 students! After NC State, she joined a Fortune 50 Company we all know and love, where she rapidly scaled the ranks, reaching the executive level at just 28 years old. During her time at PepsiCo, Raven led diverse teams of hundreds to staggering, sustainable results, but is most proud of the lasting impact left on people, evident after her departure in 2016.  

Today, Raven is on a mission to use her corporate leadership and business experience—along with her powerful personal story— to remove obstacles for young professionals and inspire communities across the world to overcome and thrive! Much of Raven’s work as a speaker serves students, young professionals and emerging leaders in schools, communities, and companies.





A powerfully moving life story of overcoming obstacles and thriving in the face of adversity




An authentic, passionate leader with a proven track record of exemplary leadership




A Millennial with fast-track career experience leading multigenerational teams

Some of her most notable clients include Belk Inc., Ingersoll Rand, Teach for America, Food Lion, UNCC and NC State. 

Having defeated tremendous challenges such as poverty, illness, bullying and great grief, Raven’s diverse experiences give her admission to speak to the hearts and minds of many. 


She is genuinely authentic, provokingly honest, and infectiously inspiring. From “The Hood” to University Valedictorian to Corporate Executive, and now a serial entrepreneur... she overcame and she thrives. 

Dr. Janice Odom

Program Director, NC State

Raven is the embodiment of inspiration and energy, made unique by her authenticity, relevance, and character. Drawing from her talents as a musician and spoken word artist - Raven communicates her wise and grounded spirit to address common human challenges and the challenge to rise above.


Scott Gakenheimer 

Regional VP, Frito-Lay

Raven has a unique blend of personal drive, an outside-the-box approach to overcoming obstacles and challenges, and an absolutely magnetic and inspiring personality that make her one of the most unique, inspirational, and influential leaders I have worked with.  

Carmichael Caldwell

Founder/President, Mentor11 Foundation

Raven is blessed with two unique skills that are essential for an influential leader. She has great listening skills, which is very rare into today’s leaders. And she conveys trust and confidence. These are two key areas that set Raven apart as one of the best influential leaders that I have ever worked with.

Millennial/ Gen Z Version

[As few actual words as possible]

  • Who: Raven, some people call me Bird at times

  • What: Inspirational Speaker, Leadership Speaker, and Corporate Coach. University valedictorian, former sales executive, pescatarian, basketball player and, believe it or not, occasional rapper! 

  • When: Always live in the NOW!

  • Where: Born in Charlotte, NC. Also lived in SC & PA. Visited 5 of the 7 continents so far. Love to Travel!

  • How: Follow me and you’ll find out :-)

Fun #Facts

  • Dream job: Inspiring YOU

  • Starbucks Drink: Iced Green Tea (Unsweetened)

  • Favorite Pandora Station: It’s a tie—Lauryn Hill & Andy Mineo

  • Biggest Inspiration: Michelle Obama

  • Embarrassing Confession: The first time I "hit dem folks* properly I screamed, “I’m relevant out here!” :-/

    • Baby Boomers & Traditionalists—no worries, I did not actually hit anyone !

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watch raven's story

Overcoming and Thriving

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7400 Old Mount Holly Rd, # 237
Charlotte, NC 28130



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