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Inspiring Conversations with Raven Hernandez of EARTH

Today we’d like to introduce you to Raven Hernandez. 

Raven, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
The story of EARTH starts with health. I am a Nashville native but moved to California for Law School. While living there, I was dealing with chronic symptoms worsened by Los Angeles’ pollution. I personally witnessed how electric vehicles could be a solution to the pollution crisis. I knew that we needed this in the South and I wanted to be a part of that change. For our environment to be a healthier place to live, significant changes need to occur, especially in the transportation sector. EARTH is helping to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
We launched EARTH in Nashville in October 2020 and now we have expanded to Austin. Of course, with any start-up, there are bumps in the road. In spite of these challenges, I’m proud to announce that to date EARTH has offset over 230M grams of carbon. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
As a company, EARTH is breaking barriers. To date, we have offset over 230M grams of carbon and given over 180,000 passengers rides. In the midst of these accomplishments, an element of EARTH that I’m personally the proudest of is our LIFE program, Living Inspired for Everyone. My vision for LIFE started when I was attending Lipscomb University and witnessed an Intellectually Disabled (ID) individual waiting at the bus stop – his transportation took 1.5 hrs. to get to the same place I could drive myself in 5 minutes. 

The LIFE program was created because of the lack of accessibility for individuals of the ID community. As a result, rides are canceled, cannot accommodate, or do not have proper training. EARTH’s and LIFE program provides reliable, safe transportation with certified trained staff to help this community. Drivers go through extensive training with credentialed professionals focusing on how to serve people equally regardless of their ability. 

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
The entire EARTH team deserves credit. It isn’t easy working in start-ups because it is so fast-paced and constantly changing. My team is up for a challenge and will never say they cannot do anything. Our team is 50 percent female or person of color. There is only one team member I haven’t known for more than six years. My partner and co-founder, Peter Smith is the man behind the woman. Peter was the one who initially pushed me out of my comfort zone to start EARTH. He believed in my ability to lead and recognized the importance of a woman leading. I also have known Joe Minor, Director of Brand and Partnerships, since I was 14. Joe and I are back to this place of struggling and working hard each day together. 

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