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Friends of the Founder: Installment Four, Kennedy Reid

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Kennedy Reid is a third year Cheatham-White scholar and an Honors Economics student with a Law concentration from Greensboro, North Carolina. In addition to her leadership roles, Kennedy has been fortunate enough to receive multiple internship opportunities. Previously, Kennedy worked as Programs Lead Intern for HBCU First, she was the District Intern for Congressman Mark Walker and was a prestigious Rangel Scholar. This summer, Kennedy is to have a Human Resources internship with Procter & Gamble.

Along with Kennedy’s active involvement on campus and in the professional world, she also works at her local YMCA as the Head Swim Coach of the minority outreach swim team called the YMCA Bears. At the YMCA, she also has the privilege to work with kids of all ages in the back to school camp to alleviate some of the pressure on parents during the pandemic. Kennedy spends her free time mentoring younger students, reading, and watching shows on Netflix.

In the future, Kennedy wants to work in the United Nations to uphold international law, protect human rights, and promote peace and security for all nations and marginalized groups. More specifically, she wants to work directly with economic development for developing countries and the allocation of humanitarian aid.

  1. What’s your biggest motivation right now?

Currently, my biggest motivation is my passion to help others and make the world a better place. The current state of the world and all of the problems and adversities that occur, make me want to be the change agent that solves them.

2. What do you wish your younger self knew about your current profession?

I wish my younger self knew that not everyone’s journey is linear. Everyone follows a different path and has different experiences that shape them into who they need and are meant to be. The most important thing is to remain open minded and understand that things will fall into place at the right time which may not always be when you want it to be.

3. What are you a part of on campus (list what you’re involved in)?

University Honors Program, 100 Collegiate Women, Aggie Economics Association, National Black Law Students Association, Aggie Ambassador, Student Advisory Board, Association of Student Governments. In each of these organizations, I hold or have held leadership positions to continue to help people on campus!

4. In what ways do you feel like you’re a student leader?

I feel like I’m a student leader in multiple ways. The most important way is my drive to help students succeed in any way possible and making myself available to everyone as a resource. Some of my most notable actions as a student leader have been: implementing a Cheatham-White Mentoring Program that has impacted more than 80 scholars; establishing Wellness Wednesday in the University Honors Program that has helped over 800 honors students and raising over $400 dollars and taking students to serve at a local homeless shelter.

5. How do you balance life and being so involved on campus?

Prioritization, being transparent and communication are key to balancing life and being involved on campus. Prioritization will allow you to understand what things need to get done versus things you may want to do. This will help you to make a clear distinction between needs and wants which in turn makes it easier to balance many tasks. Being transparent is important because life happens and we all need a break to prioritize ourselves. The best way to do this is to be transparent with people and let them know what is going on. Lastly, communication is important because if you communicate with professors, peers and everyone else in your life you will have open lines of communication which will help to balance life and campus activities.

6. Brag on yourself! What’s your biggest accomplishment to date?

To date I would say my biggest accomplishment is serving as the President of the University Honors Program for the 21-22 academic school year, where I was able to manage an executive board of 11 other peers and host events that impacted over 900 honors students. I created an event called Wellness Wednesdays and many other initiatives that will transcend and continue despite my term being finished.

7. What’s one thing that you wish you had known when you began your career?

One thing I wish I would’ve known at the beginning of college was to come in open minded and be ready for all of the change, growth and development that I would experience during my time at this illustrious university.

8. What is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?

My biggest failure is when I came into college freshman year, expecting to be able to get multiple leadership positions and then getting told no to all of them. I learned a lot from this experience. The two most important lessons were that: when an opportunity is present and it is for you, you will receive it and that a no is not a no forever, it means to work harder so another door will open for next time.

9. What are the best resources that have helped you along the way? The key resources that have helped me along the way are: networking with any and everyone that I meet, the University Honors Program staff, professors, peers and governmental agencies. These resources have all played an integral part in the opportunities that I have gotten and that I continue to share with others.

10. Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you? The three people that have been most influential to me are: Dr. Margaret Kanipes who is Director of the University Honors Program at North Carolina A&T State University, Monica Speight who is a professor at North Carolina A&T State University and Dr. Scott Simkins who serves as the chair of the Department of Economics at North Carolina A&T State University. These three individuals have been influential to me in many ways and have molded me into the leader that I am today.

11. What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in your role/business/project right now and how are you tackling it?

The biggest challenge that I am currently facing is learning how to set and enforce boundaries to ensure that I am able to continue to help and impact students. I am tackling this by making sure that I take time for myself to prioritize what I need to ensure that I am able to give 100% to everyone that I want to help.

12.What occupation (other than your own) would you like to try?

I would love to work in politics at some point to make real and tangible change in our governmental system.

13. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?

If someone wants to pursue a career in international affairs, it is important to learn as much about different cultures as you can and talk to as many different people to understand the issues that developing countries are facing.

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