Jerry Reed was not only an educator, life coach, and friend - Jerry Reed was an advocate. He was a champion for everyone he knew, encouraging them/us to succeed and be the best we could be. Reed didn't believe in limitations. I experienced that while in his journalism class. I think I speak for so many people when I say that my life would be quite different if it were not for Reed's journalism class. While I was there, I had the privilege of being an editor in chief. In my professional and academic experience, I have learned that women often do not play an authoritative role or hold leadership positions. Reed did not see those types of limitations in his students. He demanded respect for me and he believed in my abilities as a leader, writer, and student.
It is rare that we meet an individual that is truly kind and good. Jerry Reed was one of those individuals. I'm thankful to have been influenced by such a wonderful man. If there is any lesson that I have taken away from him, it is to never accept restrictions. Instead, choose to live life to the greatest extent and to believe in all people. Thank you, Reed, for believing in me.
Candace (Hsu) Owen