Laken Reed – North Carolina Interview by Claire Plath Nomination and Photography by TAP Photography Issue 25 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Laken Reed is an inspiring teen. She is co-captain of the varsity cheerleading squad and coaches young girls in youth league cheerleading, helping to inspire them to become confident young women. Laken loves to encourage others to do well. She recently won All-American with the Universal Cheerleading Association and will travel to London England to be in the New Year’s Day parade. Laken is active in YoungLife and her church.
What is your favorite thing about being co-captain for your varsity cheerleading squad?
My favorite thing about being co-captain for the varsity cheerleading team at Mountain Heritage would definitely be that I get to be a leader and have underclassmen look up to me and I get to show them exactly how I learned to be the cheerleader I am today. Showing them that it is okay to mess up as long as you continue on with a smile.
Tell me a little but about the Universal Cheerleading Association you are involved in.
UCA is an organization that runs cheerleading camps for JV and Varsity cheer teams. UCA has a cheer team called All-American. In All American you are chosen by performing in front of a panel of judges. You perform a cheer, dance and you do a jump. The dance and cheer you learn on your own time while you are at UCA camp, in a 3-day period. A day later you are announced in front of the whole camp if you got a spot on the team.
What do you love most about coaching your youth league cheer team?
The best part of coaching youth league cheer is getting to show these girls what started my love for cheerleading. I get to teach them how to be playing a sport and love doing it. I tell them all the time that cheer is not a sport for just anyone, you have to really want to learn.
How has your faith impacted who you are and how you choose to live your life?
My faith in Jesus Christ helps me day to day. I know that without him I am nothing. I talk to him daily, and I have parents that have taken me to church, raised me on reading the bible, and showed me how to do right in His name. In everything I do, I ask myself what would Jesus do? I cannot lie and say that it is easy because nothing is easy, but I am loved by Him unconditionally.
How are you involved in your faith through your community?
I am involved in a club through my high school called YoungLife, which is Christian based. We have weekly meetings where we read the bible, sing songs, and play games all while fellowshipping with our close friends. In the summer we take a huge trip to YoungLife camp, where we grow our relationship with friends from our high school and make new ones. The biggest part of Younglife is trying to get your friends from school to have a relationship with God so you bring them to Younglife!
I also have volunteered in the past two major floods that has happened by packing buckets with supplies to help people on the coast of North Carolina and Alabama have the living essentials.
What is one piece of advice or encouragement you would give to someone reading this?
My biggest piece of advice is to always be yourself, and love yourself. Life is short and you should never try to change who you are to please anyone. You are loved even when you do not feel it. Always show your confidence and be strong because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Laken will be featured in Issue 25 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!