The Reed Foundation Hosts Leadership Workshop – Valley Times-News

The Reed Foundation organizes a workshop on leadership

Posted at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Reed Foundation hosted a leadership summit on Saturday with guest speakers former NFL players Alec Ogletree and David Rocker and arena league player Desmond Reece.

“We just want to give them good traits, not just in athletics,” said director of community engagement Clifton Autry. “And we have to continue to be that confident hope in the community, helping young people.”

Executive Director Torrance Rudd and Director of Community Engagement Clifton Autry led the leadership summit which aimed to teach young people the key elements to becoming successful leaders. All three speakers spoke about the importance of education, work ethic and faith.

Rocker went to Fulton High School in Atlanta, before playing for Auburn University as an All-American. He was drafted to the Rams in 1991 as a defensive tackle.

Hailing from Valley, Alabama, Reece first played for Valley High School. After high school, he was a catcher for Tuskegee University, and later joined the Columbus Lions.

Ogletree of Newnan, Georgia played football for the University of Georgia before being drafted in the first round for the St. Louis Rams. He then played for the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

Rocker touched on three main points for success: focus on your education, stay coachable throughout your life, and get to know who you are. He also talked about his own journey in discovering the importance of education.

He told a story from when he was in high school. His mother took him off the football team because he had no intention of going to college. He was only absent from the team for a day before changing his mind about college.

“One day changed my life,” Rocker said during the presentation. “That day made me recognize that more than sport, education had to become a priority.”

Both Ogletree and Reece agreed with Rocker’s argument. Reece opened up about how drug use affected his driving and, therefore, his career.

“From ninth grade until my freshman year in college, it was the drugs that blocked my mind,” Reece said. “I couldn’t see past when the next blunt was coming.”

Growing up in the church, Reece also spoke about the responsibility each person has in their relationship with God.

“It’s up to us how we allow it to work in our lives,” Reece said.

Ogletree added that everyone has the opportunity to achieve whatever they want as long as they fight for it.

“Everyone had the opportunity to do what they wanted to do,” Ogletree said. “At some point, you will have the opportunity to do what you want to do. What you do with this opportunity is up to you.

The Reed Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses on outreach to local youth and seniors, according to the organization’s website.

“Our founder, Mr. Cameron Reed, really felt that it was necessary for our younger generation to give them sources and different things to help them succeed in this field,” Autry said.

The foundation also offers a scholarship program and a mentorship program for Lanett-area students. It also provides services to seniors in the area.

“It’s just one of the things we’re starting to do to be in the community and to help make a difference there,” Autry said.

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