Janelle Reed, 40
Lives in: Ozark, MO
Outreach and Special Events Manager, Victory Mission + Ministry
Charity: Victory Mission + Ministry
Oprah Winfrey. She knew what she was doing and what she wanted. She had authority, yet kindness. She didn’t take bull from anyone, and I loved that about her. She evolved so much over the course of my childhood, and I grew to love what she stood for even more.
Everyone has their own definition of what being beautiful is. Don’t let someone else’s definition define yours.
I don’t think anything would surprise you once you got to know me, but I wasn’t always a social butterfly. Actually, my first event that I was in charge of and spoke in front of was just eight years ago. I helped put together a two-day women’s ministry event in Florida and, in front of 100 women, I got up and emceed. I totally turned from Beyoncé into Sasha Fierce and was told I was made for this. Something about being in front of an audience just turns me into a different person! I haven’t looked back since.
The single moms that are a part of SingleMomzRock. They never cease to amaze me. Some of these women work full-time, literally have zero support, possibly are going to school to better themselves and their children’s lives all the while raising their children. They are heroes in my book. Every time I feel like I’m feeling weary or weak, someone from the group will send a thank-you for helping them or will just check on me. This group started because I saw a need not being met, but more times than not, these women have been my lifelines and inspirations when I needed a lift. I have found lifelong friends and a true family with this group. It’s not something I had ever expected.
In the people we serve every day at Victory Mission. In their eyes, when you ask them if they would like another cup of coffee when it’s cold outside. In their voices, when you sit and listen to them talk about their grandkids they don’t get to see anymore because they live on the streets. In their tears, because they think they aren’t worthy of being loved, yet I know that’s a lie. They all have a story, just like each of us; our stories are all different but that doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful in their own way.
I am very passionate about the Cliff Effect and families who live that daily. I have been working with Rep. Crystal Quade for a couple years regarding policy change surrounding the Cliff Effect because it will have to start with policy change before anything else will be able to be on a local level. If we cannot incentivize our employees to take an increase wage because they know they will lose all their government benefit—like child care assistance—yet that wage increase won’t come close to making up for what childcare costs, what good are we doing for our workers and our families? We have to make this right and not set families up to fail.
Get to know our 10 Most Beautiful even better. Then, watch them walk the runway at 417 Magazine's Indulge on October 3 at Oasis Hotel and Convention Center.