Vern Reed

About Vern Reed

Vern spent much of his early career in education as a teacher/coach at West Burlington High School in West Burlington, Iowa. But, at some point in his journey, students once classified as “at risk” began finding their way to Vern and his wife, Cindee. Eventually, Vern began to understand that his life had to be more than coaching basketball. Somehow, some way, he had to find a way to better impact these students’ opportunities to write their own “future stories.” Eight years ago, Vern lobbied to become the official “at risk” point person at West Burlington High School. Since that time the “Success Center”—essentially a place no student ever wanted to go—has become “The Corners.” The Corners serves more than 120 junior high and high school students, and it has become the place that not only under-resourced students want to be a part of, but almost every student in the school makes use of on a regular basis. Vern’s school brought Bridges Out of Poverty to Southeast Iowa. Since December 2015, the partnership has grown to include local businesses, churches, the local community college, Great River Health Systems, and many more key partners. Vern consults and trains on the topics of addressing poverty and emotional poverty. In 2019, Vern was brought to Ottumwa, Iowa, as the under-resourced student programming coordinator. In this position, and with a great team, Ottumwa has added multiple programs focused on moving at-risk students to graduation and beyond. This included opening a new learning center for under-resourced students in fall 2022 with the ability to serve 200 high school students.
Go to Top