In any stage of life, a strong support system is important. Graduating senior Gabrielle Reed certainly had that throughout her four years at Millersville University. Three generations of strong females in her family encouraged her to succeed in school.
With great-grandmother Verna Harris, grandmother Harriet Brown-Parker and mother Anita Brown-Reed as this support system, Reed has been able to excel in her academics. The senior, who studied speech communication with an option in communication studies and a minor in government and political affairs will graduate with departmental honors as well as Latin honors – cum laude. When she graduated on May 12, her family was there to support her.
“I first met Gabby when I interviewed her for a position in housing,” said Rita Miller, associate director of housing and residential programs. “On the day the staff moved in I was amazed to meet her mother, grandmother and great grandmother who traveled from South West Philadelphia to help move her to her quarters for summer. I had a very pleasant conversation with the three very strong and dignified women who represented three generations of elders in her family and quickly realized that Gabby has a very unique and wonderful support system.”
“One thing that my family always instilled in me was the value of an education,” said Reed.
This stems all the way back to Reed’s great-grandmother, Harris, who used to be a schoolteacher and encouraged the idea of having a strong educational background in all of her children. She is one of the many influences who convinced Reed to pursue a master’s degree.
For this reason, Reed will be attending Shippensburg University in the fall to obtain her master’s degree in school counseling. She is the first to attend graduate school in the four generations of women in her family. She will also be a graduate assistant in the counseling department. Reed hopes to become a school counselor and work with first grade to high school students.
“A communications degree teaches you about what can go wrong in communication, but I’ve always wanted to take it to the next step and see how to fix those issues,” she said.
Reed’s family has been with her every step of the way at MU. They helped her to move into her dorm freshman year and take her out to lunch at least once a month to support her. She says they have been by her side for every accomplishment and defeat, and she knows they will continue to help her through this next step in her academic career.
“My support system has always had my back, regardless of whether it pertained to a job, my education or personal life. They gave me free range to make decisions on what I wanted to do and really helped me to expand and become an independent individual,” she said. “I am so thankful and appreciative of what they’ve done for me and how they’ve helped me along the way.”
“The four are a team that celebrates each accomplishment, each life event, takes vacations together, and are essentially inseparable,” said Miller. “It is an amazing story of the power and strength of strong women.”