I got a chance to interview Christian Reed, a veteran, former Army football player, and an entrepreneur. Reed is a great role model who wants to help communities and kids all around America.
Reed deployed at 20 years old with the 261st Movement Control Team in 2012. While with this unit he had to perform many transport patrols, which are some of the most dangerous things for troops to do, due to IED’s and ambushing.
While he was there he started to realize that the people in leadership positions weren’t doing the right things; that is when he knew he wanted to make a change. That is when he decided to go to the United States Military Academy.
While there, not everything went his way, but Reed is still finding ways to affect change in the world.
First off, tell readers a little about yourself:
My name is Christian D’ Angelo Reed, from Gainesville, Florida. I am a 7-year Combat Veteran. Served in Afghanistan 2012-2013.
I am currently studying Sociology at Bethune Cookman University after transferring from The United States Military Academy Dec. 2016, where I played on the Army Football Team.
Içm now the CEO of the Agents of Change 365 Youth Program, part owner of Debonair Minks Eyelash Company, and one of the founders of SPK Entertainment in Florida.
I would consider myself to be very ambitious and an upcoming entrepreneur, who looks to give back to communities across America by creating positive movements.
I know you spent some time at West Point, how (if at all) did that shape you?
Spending time at not only West Point, but in The United States Army had a lot to do with the person I am today; it taught me the tool of perseverance.
The military isn’t for everyone but those who partake on the journey have my utmost respect. Some of the things I faced made me tough mentally and physically.
While being a part of the Army football team under Coach Monken and his staff, he always preached “BROTHERHOOD”, and that’s how I live my life to this day.
The brothers and coaches on that staff are still a big part of my life and continue to offer their helping hands, even after I decided to step away and take on a different journey.
With all that being said, without partaking in the Military and being apart of the “BROTHERHOOD” I don’t think I would be the person I am today.”
You were close to the late Brandon Jackson, can you speak on what he meant to you?
The late, great Brandon Jackson was like a little brother to me, on and off the field. He had a smile that would turn a gloomy day to one filled with sunshine.
He was a leader, brother, and role model for both young and old. He embodied everything you wanted in a friend, brother, family member, and teammate.
With Brandon being who he was, it was only right that I dedicated my youth program in his memory. I spoke to his mother and she gave me the blessing to continue carrying his name on through Agents of Change 365.
Every place I go and speak, I always start off talking about Brandon because everything he embodied, I’m trying to pour into all the youth across America.
Brandon meant the world to not only me but everyone he came in contact with, and that’s why I will continue to tell his story and carry his name on with great pride. #Forever28.
How did you come up with the idea of Agents of Change 365?
The idea came about one sizzling summer in Pershing Barracks. I had been notified that I would not be able to play football that season due to a knee injury.
I was devastated because it seemed as if everything was falling into place; my world would come crumbling down yet again. My time at the Academy had its ups but it sure did have its downs as well, but if I had to do it all over again I would.
I would later speak with my mentor, role model, and position coach Tucker Waugh, and being a coach he let me have it straight forward, no sugar coating. The words he told me I carry with me every day in life; “put as much energy into something that you put into football, and you will be just fine.”
I would take those words, run with them and began going through pages trying to transfer my energy into something that would benefit others.
I would begin to converse with my best friend, Army football legend, Ahmad Bradshaw about my ideas. As always, he was open ears to one of my many business plans.
He said, “I was always open ears to everyone and their problems, and offer good advice”, so I would take that and eventually blurt out “I’m going to start my own youth program”.
He kind of gave me a look and asked, “bro you serious?”I took a second and thought about it and replied “yes”. Him being from the rough streets of South Side Chicago would understand why I wanted to do what I wanted to do when it came to starting my own youth program.
Tell the readers about AOC
Agents of Change is a youth program that enlightens young people by providing them with the activities, tools and skills to rise above their environments and societal stereotypes. We do this in order to allow them to create better opportunities for themselves, their communities, and the worlds in which they live in, do they can become leaders who might affect positive change and influence other youths to follow a positive path.
We aim to prepare participants for the real world, help participants get into college, leadership training, help change their community, provide job assistance, and introduce them to Christ.”
Where do you want to see AOC365 go from where it is currently
I would like to see Agents of Change 365 implemented in schools, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs, and other youth shaping environments across America as an after-school program. #BigThingsComing
Lastly, where can the readers find you online?
They can visit our website @ www.agentsofchange365.org
Instagram: @aoc_youthprogram (personal IG: @br33do_)
Facebook: Agents of Change 365
What he said about Brandon Jackson hit home to me, everyone says his smile could brighten up the darkest of days. Sadly, he was taken from us far too soon.
Again, big thank you to Christian Reed for doing this interview, I wish him nothing but the best for him and for Agents of Change 365.