Influential Woman: Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi is a beautiful and talented 17-year-old, African-American and Iranian model and actress. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is one of three siblings to her parents Afshin and Keri Shahidi. She began starting in ads and commercials at the age of 6 and ever since, her career has taken off.

We first saw Yara Shahidi in the movie, “Imagine That,” starring Eddie Murphy. She is now known for her character, Zoey Johnson, on Black-ish. The American sitcom, starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, has portrayed Zoey Johnson as a young African-American girl who is very well educated and driven to be successful in her upcoming college career.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 25: Actress Yara Shahidi arrives at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Yara Shahidi has been an influence to all African-American females in the current and upcoming generations. Not only is she an actress and model but she is also a very smart individual. On June 6th, 2017, she declared her spot at Harvard University where she will be double majoring in Sociology and Africana World Studies. She aspires to be a historian and to continue being an advocate for all young black women. She also received a letter of recommendation from the former first lady, Michelle Obama in
order to attend the prestigious institution in the upcoming fall semester.

Yara Shahidi formed the Yara’s Club, a partnership with The Young Women’s Leadership School that tailors to high school students together to discuss social issues, how to take action in our communities and be active to help spread peace and unity.

Yara Shahidi in my opinion is very underrated. Although, she doesn’t hold many titles and awards under her name, she still works hard to make sure she’s a positive influence for our black girls and young women. I believe that the young girls growing up do not have that many positive influences around their age and it is important to show that young women can still persevere and strive for excellence at a young age.

Growing up, I wish I had influences that taught me how to stay focused on my goals and of course, I had older individuals for that but for someone to be 17 and know what they want with life and how they can make an impact on our society is such a blessing for the upcoming generations to see. She also makes sure to note that sisterhood and bonding between women is important for us to grow and to learn in this society. This world does not always want the best for us, but it is important for us to realize that we need to hold each other up and not down. I am very blessed to say that Yara Shahidi is a part of this upcoming generation and she will continue to be an amazing influence for all of our girls in the future.



Feature image via Vanity Fair.

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Alana Brown

Alana Brown

My name is Alana Brown and I am a native of Paterson, New Jersey. I am a Junior at William Paterson University majoring in Print Journalism with a minor in Public Relations. I am a hardworking, overachieving, humble, beautiful black women. I appreciate the arts and use art as a way of expressing how I feel, especially in writing, music, poetry, and photos. Follow me on twitter @alanalynette__ (two underscores), Instagram @alanalynette_ (one underscore), and Facebook at Alana Brown.

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