KING WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Last week, Raven Custalow was honored as WRIC’s “Remarkable Women” winner, and now is one of the finalists for Nexstar Media Group, Inc.’s national competition.
Every March, Nexstar Media celebrates International Women’s Month by honoring “Remarkable Women” across the country.
A local winner is chosen for each of Nexstar’s 200 broadcasting stations across the country. Each market’s winning “Remarkable Woman” receives $1,000 that goes to a charity of her choice.
Custalow — who was nominated by her husband, Chris — was born and raised on Mattaponi Reservation in King William County, and from a young age learned about the history, customs and language of her tribe from her grandmother, who taught her everything from beadwork to dancing.
When she got older, Custalow continued to give back to her tribe. She started the non-profit Eastern Woodlands Revitalization and now teaches kids about tribal traditions at schools and libraries across Virginia.
In 2022, Custalow helped organize an open council election in which Mattaponi women could run and vote. She said this was the first such election in nearly 100 years.
She also works as a full-time nurse practitioner at Aylett Family Wellness, which is operated by the Upper Mattaponi tribe. As part of her medical work, Custalow focuses on serving members of her tribe and giving them care for health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, all of which are common problems among Native people.
On Monday, April 3, Nexstar announced that Custalow was chosen as one of the top seven finalists for the “Nexstar Woman of the Year” title. If she wins, Custalow will receive a $5,000 contribution made in her name to a charity of her choice.
The winner of Nexstar’s Woman of the Year will be announced at 10 p.m. PST on Monday, April 3.