He’s a little more than halfway through his meandering journey. The rising senior at Mercer University, who is majoring in electrical engineering, isn’t on the cross-country adventure alone, though. He joined other members of the national Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity for the annual philanthropic trip called Journey of Hope.
Fraternity members across the country apply to participate in the bike ride, said Wells’ father, Marcus Wells. Reed’s parents told him they would do whatever they needed to do if he were chosen to participate. “It’s something he has wanted to do for a couple of years,” the elder Wells said. For the past several years, Reed spent summers in internships in his hometown of Moultrie.
“Doing philanthropy work doesn’t compare to being in an office,” he said during a stop in Nebraska. Drayton Perkins, a Mercer alumnus, took the same cross-country trek four summers in a row. He said he has known Reed for a couple of years and spoke to him several times about the journey, but he didn’t have to persuade Reed to sign up.
It’s a challenge, Perkins said, but a fulfilling way to spend a summer. “To me, this trip meant more than an internship” or a summer job, he said. Reed began training for the trek this past fall, logging about 800 miles in ride time before the trip.