For this a theme component would be best. The idea is to feature or pin users at the homepage. These users can either be either genuinely featured for their good work or pinned for money. And it’ll also motivate other users to be more engaging to get featured the next time.
These are some images which I got from a website for reference.
I think, the height can be reduced a lot on mobile to match Instagram stories. That will show the users but it won’t disturb the rest of the content. How do you like the idea?