My friend Jennifer Reynolds is admirable for many reasons, but one of the reasons I admire her so much is because of the way she consistently combines courage and love to serve her community.
I first met Jennifer when she and her husband, who were missionaries in Mexico at the time, visited my church. They spoke about their community outreach work in Mexico, and from the very first time I met Jennifer, I was struck with her courage and love.
Jennifer and her husband of fifteen years, Joshua
Jennifer had been a professional ballet dancer in Lexington after high school before she went to college, where she studied anthropology.
After she and Joshua married, they decided to move to Mexico to do mission and community outreach work.
Jennifer had learned to speak Spanish fluently and began teaching ballet in Mexico at an outreach center in a marginalized neighborhood. She and her husband also co-owned and co-operated a Crossfit gym in Mexico, which was a part of their community outreach work.
When Jennifer and her husband returned to live in the United States, she brought this same love, courage, and commitment to community with her.
Jennifer began working as a professional medical interpreter in Lexington, Kentucky, and she also served as the outreach director of the Bluegrass Youth Ballet. In addition, Jennifer also began a bilingual outreach program in the 11th District where she and her husband live.
Jennifer and her students
Ever since I have known Jennifer, I have watched her serve every community she has lived in with courage and love, and so it was really no surprise at all to me last year when she told me she was running to represent the 11th District. This move seemed like a natural and logical extension of the way she has lived her entire life.
When I asked Jennifer about her main goal for the 11th District, she said, ” I really value the diverse people of the 11th District, and I want to help them build bridges.”
It is clear that many people in the 11th District value Jennifer, too. In fact, several people in her community approached Jennifer about running for office, and after talking to the current council woman, she decided to run.
Although Jennifer’s run for political office is a natural extension of her entire life’s work, such a decision definitely requires courage. So I asked Jennifer how she developed the courage to take this next step in her life.
Jennifer is thirty-four, but she has gained a world of wisdom from her rich, diverse life experience. She said, “A while ago, I was listening to a podcast, and it was about how we develop harmful ideas about ourselves and the world that hold us back from trying new things. I said to myself, ‘If you don’t try this, you are going to be really sad’.”
She added, “To anyone who is given an opportunity, don’t sell yourself short.”
Jennifer has immersed herself in campaign work with a passion. She daily has the opportunity to learn new things about her local government and the people who live and work in the 11th District. “I love it,” she said with a big smile on her face.
Jennifer inspires me. The focus of my blog is how we bring more love into our lives in our relationship with ourselves, our community, and with one another, in general. Jennifer reminds me that whenever we combine courage and love, we make a powerful difference in our community.
Note: If you would like to donate to Jennifer Reynold’s campaign for the 11 District, you can send donations to reynoldsfor11th.com.
You can find a link to her campaign here:
There are also several volunteer opportunities available, which you can also read about at the previous link.
Lastly: Primaries are May 22, 2018. Vote for Jennifer!
Jennifer, Joshua, and their son, Isaac