Winona native overcomes big challenges and graduates from Holmes

Pictured is Bradley Steed, a recent Holmes graduate who overcame insurmountable odds to get where he is today.
Pictured is Bradley Steed, a recent Holmes graduate who overcame insurmountable odds to get where he is today.
Winona native James Bradley Steed, son of Gloria and Kenny Steed, overcame insurmountable odds to get to where he is today and he couldn't be more excited about it. After battling an aggressive brain tumor that first made an appearance in 2014, he managed to not only graduate from Winona High School with his class in 2017, but also graduate from Holmes Community College in May of 2020.

"My oncologist, Dr. Betsy Herrington, was a huge blessing," Steed said. "I did have to be home-schooled for a little while after the diagnosis my sophomore year, but I ended up catching up and being able to go back to school with my class before graduation."

After Steed's diagnosis at age 15, he faced chemotherapy treatment for six months followed by a trial and error treatment and radiation treatment for 28 days straight.

"One of the hardest things I struggled with was cognition trouble," Steed said. "I'd often find myself forgetting my words. After my first surgery, they realized I'd have to have another and although it was scary in the beginning, it did bring me closer to God and strengthened my relationship with Jesus. In fact, I was baptized right after my high school graduation."

Steed first began classes on the Holmes Grenada Campus in the fall of 2017. Per his doctor's orders, he only took a few classes each semester, never a full load, but picked up more and more as his condition improved. Steed said Grenada Academic Coordinator Dr. Kathryn Cox was a huge help to him and 'such a helpful, nice lady.'

"Bradley has been such a joy to work with these past few years," Dr. Cox said. "He has been committed to his education and I feel privileged to have been a part of that. I know Bradley will do great things in the future."

Steed said that he didn't want to go straight to a university since he preferred the smaller class sizes, so Holmes was a perfect fit.

"I was really nervous about classes, but the instructors were wonderful and I'm thankful for all Holmes has done!" Steed said. "I especially enjoyed my English classes with Mrs. Land...she definitely helped me feel less nervous and when I first started my college experience, she got me plugged in."

"Bradley is a student I will never forget!" said Amy Land, an English instructor on the Grenada Campus. "His perseverance and drive were apparent from day one. He is an absolute joy to know, and I am so grateful to have gotten to take part in his educational journey, watching as he grew in both skill and confidence during his time at Holmes. I will miss him greatly, but I know he will do great things!"

A business administration major, Steed said that his future plans include possibly continuing courses at the University of Mississippi Grenada Center (which is housed on Holmes' Grenada Campus) and finding a good job.

"My folks have drilled into my head that making a successful life for myself is important," Steed said. "My brother is an engineering technology alumnus from Holmes and now I'm proud to be a Holmes alum too."