KUHF-Houston Public Radio's "This I Believe" with Rachel Reed

Rachel is a graduating senior at Cinco Ranch High School. She's also one of three winners in KUHF's first Student Essay Contest sponsored by Spectra Energy. Rachel is a gifted young person who loves art and science...and she also welcomes any opportunity to help a fellow student in need. In her award winning essay for KUHF's This I Believe, Rachel Reed explains how that help can come from an unexpected source.
Rachel has already chosen her next step in life. In the fall she'll enter Savannah College of Art and Design. Her specific interest is animation. In her final year at Cinco Ranch High School, Rachel was able to take several elective classes including advanced digital graphics and animation, sculpture and ceramics, media technology and video editing. Those classes allowed her to refine her desire to pursue a career in art. After hearing about Savannah College of Art and Design, Rachel visited the campus and fell in love with it. She took a two-week workshop to get a feel for the classes and dorm life. The workshop focused on storyboarding and comic books. A light went off for Rachel and she concluded it was the perfect blend of her interests in writing and drawing. Rachel also feels the chances of publishing her own comic book is greater than a cartoon series.

Rachel with her neon green spikesRachel is also interested in science and her participation in her high school's robotics team allowed her to explore that. Rachel's team at Cinco Ranch competed in and won many local, state and national events. She learned the value of teamwork and the value of social responsibility.

Rachel has an older sister who will be attending the University of Houston pursuing a journalism degree. Rachel's mother says both her daughters determined at young ages the career paths they wanted to pursue and by all accounts, both are well on their way to success. Suffice it to say, Rachel's parents are doubly proud.

Congratulations to Rachel for being selected as one of three winners in KUHF's first Student Essay Contest sponsored by Spectra Energy. In addition to having her essay broadcast on the radio and archived as a part of our regular weekly series, Rachel will enjoy a laptop computer and a savings bond which will help in her first year of college.

Here's Rachel Reed with her essay for KUHF's This I Believe.
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"I believe in green hair spikes. I believe green hair spikes are as important as love and friendship. Let me explain.

For about four days every year, I spike my hair in giant liberty spikes and spray it green. No, I am not some punk rocker spitting at society. I am a nerd. A confident, bold nerd with green hair spikes. I am a member of my high school's robotics team, Team 624 CRyptonite Robotics. Our theme is "Superman Gone Punk", and every year we wear neon green capes and our green hair spikes proudly.

Rachel and fellow student Christina SparksOne would think that robotics is a stuffy, boring, nerd club. Just the opposite...Robotics is as intense as a sport. We have competitions where players show spirit through banners, dancing, chants, and in my team's case, green hair spikes.

On the last day of my first robotics competition, after the closing ceremonies, our team began to pick up their spirit scepters of PVC pipes, green pom-poms, and laptops from the stands. As I was leaving, a teacher from another team stopped me and began to tell me how much she loved our team and our green hair spikes.

At competitions, we have a hair salon area for students from other teams to get their hair spiked like ours. The teacher told me a story of a past student of hers who was severely troubled. His home life was broken; he hated school, and was in a constant state of depression. She told me that he had come to a past competition and was enthralled by our green hair spikes. Right away, our team members assisted him and took their time to give him the best green hair spikes he could ever ask for. Our team had given this boy a day of happiness and confidence.

Not only do I believe in green hair spikes, but I believe in helping others in any way you can. Not everyone lends their ear to listen or their shoulder to cry on. Not everyone is a sage full of advice. But it's often the little things that get people by when life causes burden. I believe anyone can help someone, even if it is a small gesture like green hair spikes."
Bio photo of Paul Pendergraft

Paul Pendergraft

Artistic Advisor

Paul Pendergraft is KUHF-Houston Public Radio’s Senior Producer for News & Public Affairs...