A Voice That Inspires

by Eric Edelman

Growing up, Shelby Rushin was in a quandary, needing to decide, “do I want to be like mommy or do I want to be like daddy?” she recalls. The daughter of a radio host, (her father), and a nurse, (her mother), the answer was simple for Rushin. “I remember the fancy cars and all that, so daddy’s job seemed more fun,” she remembers cheerfully. After high school, she did a marketing internship where she quickly realized that wasn’t her path. She pinpoints a defining moment after graduating college where she returned to 99Jamz, a popular South Florida radio station where she was an intern. “One day they came up to me and said, ‘OK, today you’re going to talk.’ I was like, ‘Oh, no, not ready for that!’” she remembers, laughing. First-time jitters would turn into business as usual for Rushin as she would eventually rise through the ranks in the industry, doing interviews with a diverse palette of people, from politicians to entertainers. Fast-forward two decades, and Rushin is now the host of “The Show” on WHQT-Hot 105. 

Rushin not only found her calling as a broadcaster, but her newfound platform enabled her to better serve the people and communities she’s always called home. From politics to domestic violence, Rushin always touched on substantive topics to facilitate a positive dialogue on her radio shows, allowing people from all backgrounds to express themselves on her platform. Later, as a community liaison for 99Jamz, Rushin met and got to know many of her listeners in person. It was in these face-to-face interactions where she realized the power of her platform. “I didn’t realize the little things I’d say or do could have such a huge impact in someone’s life,” she recalls. In one instance, a woman told Rushin a personal anecdote of losing her belongings in a house fire, and in that moment, Rushin felt obligated to help. “In that particular instance, I went into my own pocket to help her,” she remembers vividly. “Although I couldn’t do that for everybody, I realized I wanted to do more.”

Rushin would go on to start SHERO Inc., a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting job preparedness and literacy in the Broward County and Miami-Dade area. She serves as a mentor for Broward County Schools, and has played a vital role in the contemporary community-law enforcement relationship as a counsel board member for the City of Miami Police Department under Chief Jorge Colina. An alumnus of Bethune-Cookman University’s Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, she also parlayed her collegiate networking connections into her efforts to give back to the community she’s called home for most of her life. As sign of her dedication and selflessness, Rushin has received countless accolades. Legacy magazine placed her on their South Florida list of 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in Business and Industry for 2017. In 2018, she was nominated for an African-American Achievers Award, and Flava Magazine declared her A Real Woman of Substance for her community service—and that’s hardly her whole list of honors. Despite the individual recognition, Rushin cites her husband and two children as the secret to keeping everything in balance.

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