For college students who may be under the impression that graduating with your parent might feel a little peculiar, Emanuel Reed, Sr., of Helena, and his son, Emanuel Reed, Jr., highly recommend it.

For college students who may be under the impression that graduating with your parent might feel a little peculiar, Emanuel Reed, Sr., of Helena, and his son, Emanuel Reed, Jr., highly recommend it.

Each fully supporting the other, both father and son graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas-Helena last Friday night.

Having started working at Discount Ag Center in Marianna one week before his high school graduation in 1986, Reed, Sr., said knowing that he was already working at a job that was promised when he was in the seventh grade, he didn't think he needed to go to college. However, one night in 2008 while sitting at the dining room table helping his sons with their homework (sons were ages 12 and 7) and giving them advice about furthering their education, his youngest son asked, "Dad, why didn't you go to college?"

“I made up my mind that night that I was going, come fall of 2009,” said Reed, Sr.

Reed, Jr., was 13 when his dad started college. His father could only go part-time, usually enrolling in a class or two at night each semester, due to his day-time employment.

“I started seven years before Emanuel, Jr., graduated high school, and although I wanted to get finished early, seeing my son join in, catch up with me, and walk across the stage together, made it worth the wait,” Reed, Sr., said.

A graduate of Marvell High School, Reed, Sr., was familiar with PCCUA through family members and friends, who had taken classes there.

“I think that Phillips Community College has the greatest staff ever,” he said. “It has been great meeting smiling faces and people who remember your name, even if it’s three or four years later, and quick to say, ‘If you need my help, let me know.’ The staff and instructors at PCCUA have been very helpful, encouraging, and easy to talk to. That and being able to graduate alongside my son have made this a great experience for me.”

Reed, Sr., says he plans to take a short break from college classes before continuing to work toward his Bachelor’s degree. When he isn’t working or studying, he enjoys, fishing, grilling, and spending time with family.

Reed, Jr., graduated from Central High School in 2015 and began working part-time at Phillips College in Lewis Library in circulation, in addition to taking business classes.

“Phillips College has been a fun learning experience for me,” he said, “working part-time, going to class, in the gym, and being a part of various activities. I have gained knowledge and good work ethics, at the same time. All of my co-workers and instructors have mentored, supported, and helped me through this experience. The faculty is like family to me, and my co-workers have taught me so much. I’ve not only enjoyed this experience, but I’m grateful for being able to share it with my father.”

He also thanked Business & Information Systems Dean Linda Killion, Vice Chancellor Dr. Deborah King, and Vice Chancellor Rhonda St. Columbia for their support.

Since graduating from PCCUA, Reed, Jr., has enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems. He plans to minor in music and would like to return to Helena someday and work in an IT department. When he isn’t studying and working part-time, Reed enjoys playing musical instruments, mostly piano, fishing, hunting, and working out in the gym.

Active in college and community activities, Reed, Jr., was a member of Men Enrolling to Advance, a pianist for the PCCUA Choir, took part in the College Baptist Bible Study, and received a certificate of achievement for expanding the Food & Nutrition Education Program.