Shepard Alum, Mike Reddy, left a mark on Shepard history as a former state journalism champion, as well as, the morning announcer.
As a Shepard student, Freedom 7 adviser Mike Smith, approached Reddy and asked if he would be interested in writing a column for the newspaper. While with the newspaper, Reddy expresses that “he tried to push boundaries and cast a more critical eye to the school and its goings-on.
Smith asked Reddy to participate in the IHSA journalism competition before he was actually a member of Freedom 7.
“There was a relatively new category in the IHSA journalism competition called radio and he seemed well suited, since he had such a pleasant speaking voice that I heard daily each morning, stated Smith. “I bought some equipment so that he could compete despite having never done anything like it. The rest is history as he brought home a state championship to Shepard High School.” Television production teacher Frank Rice was also instrumental in helping him win the award.
and he had never done anything like it before, he won first place in the state. “I knew Mike has worked in raid for the speech team. He had a beautiful voice and radio was a new IHSA Journalism event”, said Smith, “I knew he had a great radio voice from listening to him so the morning announcements. We looked into it. I bought him some equipment and we learned all we could about the event. The rest is history”. Reddy encourages high school students to recognize that they have a voice. Reddy states, “It was truly one of my proudest achievements while in high school”.
After graduating from Shepard, Reddy spent a year and a half obtaining his associate degree from Moraine Valley Community College. After graduating from Moraine, he was accepted into Boston University, his dream school. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in journalism.
Prior to landing his position at Lunchbox, he paid his dues in the media field with Boston University’s student newspaper, The Daily Free Press. He was a news writer, associate campus news editor, managing editors and the papers first ever podcast editor. He also wrote for Brookline, Massachusetts, newspaper, the Brookline Tab.
Before final:“As high school students, you may feel as though your voices don’t deserve to be heard – that you need to take injustices sitting down. That mindset couldn’t be further from the truth. Never underestimate the power of your voice, or the power of local journalism.” He further states “It’s now up to you to ensure that the news that matters most to the student body is told. It’s as the Washington Post slogan says, ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.’ Ensure that such darkness never befalls Shepard’s student body.
When asked how his Shepard journalism experience helped prepare for life after ABS, Reddy explains how that he didn’t know journalism was his calling until he attended Moraine. With all of the curiosity of what to do, Reddy knew he wanted to “create something that would have a lasting, positive impact on people’s lives.” Reddy first thought he wanted to pursue advertising, then realized the positive impact that journalism has.
“As high school students, you may feel as though your voices don’t deserve to be heard – that you need to take injustices sitting down. That mindset couldn’t be further from the truth. Never underestimate the power of your voice, or the power of local journalism.” Reddy further states “It’s now up to you to ensure that the news that matters most to the student body is told. It’s as the Washington Post slogan says, ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.’ Ensure that such darkness never befalls Shepard’s student body.
The success of an ABS scholar is phenomenal and with the achievements that Reddy forth came while attending Alan B. Shepard, his accomplishments are anything but unforeseen.